Skip to main content

Full text of "The old grey church"

See other formats


'mm 






i££AsiM^ 




LI E) RAR.Y 

OF THE 

U N IVLR.SITY 

or ILLINOIS 

82.3 

Sco79o 
V'2L 



. Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 



http://www.archive.org/details/oldgreychurch02scot 



THE 



OLD GREY CHURCH. 



VOL. II. 



PRINTED BY W. CLOWES ANT> SONS, STAMFORD STREET AKD CHARING CROSS. 



THE 



OLD GREY CHURCH. 



BY THE AUTHOR OF 

"TREVELYAN" AND "A MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE/' 



'His brow was sad, his eye beneath 
Flashed like a faulchion from its sheath, 
And like a silver clarion rung 
The accents of that unkno\vn tongue, 

Excelsior ! " Longfellow. 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 
Vol. II. 



LONDON: 
RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 

1856. 



THE 



OLD GREY CHURCH, 



CHAPTEE I. 



Dreadful was the lonely Saturday even- 
ing whicli Eustace passed at Ashford, 
at the end of his dismal journey from 
London on the following day. It was 
not however the silent gloom of his little 
parlour which so depressed him ; it was 
not the contrast between the present, and 
the preceding evening in Stanhope-street ; 
it was not the feeling, painful as that feel- 
ing was, of having parted with Lucy, 
little knowing when, or if ever, he should 
see her again. It was not either the 
cruel state of doubt, in which he was 

VOL. II. B 



Z THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

still left respecting his uncle's feelings 
and intentions towards him, and his own 
consequent future fate in life. It was 
none of all this. It was — what w^as far 
worse to Eustace to bear — it was the 
stings of his own conscience, the humi- 
liating feeling of self-reproach, the rest- 
less worry of a mind no longer at peace 
with itself : in short, it was the conscious- 
ness of being again under the complete 
dominion of a passion, which he had, in 
his ignorance of himself, fancied he had 
mastered. Why had he listened to the 
tempter? "Wliy had he not at once cou- 
rageously declined Mr. Watson's well- 
meant, but, as it proved, most ill-judged 
interference, with the view of bringing 
about a renewal of friendly intercourse 
between him and his uncle ? What had 
he gained by the meeting ? He was more 
than ever at a loss as to that uncle's in- 
tentions and feeling towards him. He 
had again beheld her, who he, now to 
his humiliation, discovered, had still, not- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 6 

withstanding all his resolutions, all his 
prayers even, power not only to disturb 
the peace of his mind, but to shake his 
very principles. Why did he ever leave 
Ashford ? The previous Saturday evening 
he was equally solitary in his little parlour. 
All around him was equally silent and 
lonely. His one lamp gave an equally 
feeble light. The little clock on the chim- 
ney (his mother's present on his last birth- 
day, aware that punctuaHty was not one of 
his virtues) gave an equally melancholy 
slow notification of the hours as they 
passed. But those hom-s, fully occupied 
by his parochial duties, by his meditations 
on the services of the approaching sab- 
bath, and on the blessed truths which he 
was to proclaim, had passed quickly by, 
in contentment, if not in actual enjoy- 
ment, and with his mind thus at peace 
he had laid his head on his pillow at 
night, blessing God for all his mercies; 
and although in his prayers the companion 
of his youth was not forgotten, he could 

b2 



4 THE OLD GREY CHUKCH. 

from his heart say, with regard to her, 
*' Thy will not mine be done." 

But now — all was changed. Eestless in 
body and mind, Eustace rose from his 
chair, and paced hurriedly up and down 
his small apartment ; he threw open the 
mndow-sash, and looked out upon the 
night ; the stars were beginning to shine 
brightly in the darkening sky ; he gazed 
upon them long in a dreamy state, won- 
dering what they were. Whether other 
inhabited worlds ? blissful abodes, where 
those who have undergone probation 
here below meet again in bhss? At 
length, chilled by the night air, he closed 
the window, and went shivering towards 
the fire, casting on a log of wood to make 
a blaze (his lamp that evening seemed to 
burn so very dimly). As the flame sud- 
denly burst from the freshly-ignited fuel, 
it brought into light a drawing, enclosed 
in a very humble wooden frame (made 
by the village carpenter), which hung 
over the chimney-piece. It was the 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

sketch of the Colosseum which Eustace 
had stolen from Lucy's portfolio, the 
morning he had left Eome. He gazed 
upon it attentively for a minute or two, 
and then, in consequence, apparently, of 
some sudden resolution, he unfastened it 
from the wall, and hurried up to his bed- 
room. He opened his trunk, placed the 
drawing within it with the face down- 
wards, relocked the box, and returned to 
the sitting-room ; and going up to the fire- 
place, he withdrew from the wall, the 
nails by which it had hung. Again he 
paced his small apartment, again he en- 
deavoured to brighten the fire in the 
grate, and having, in some degree, suc- 
ceeded in making the room look more 
cheerful, he took down from the shelf 
his large Bible and Prayer-book, and 
marked in them the Psalms and Lessons 
for the next day. Grradually he became 
more calm, and occupied by what he 
read; his attention being, apparently, 
especially fixed upon the Psalms. They 



6 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

were those for the 8th day of the month, 
and he repeated aloud to himself these 
verses : — " "Withdraw not Thou thy mercy 
from me, Lord, let thy loving kindness 
and thy truth always preserve me. For 
innumerable troubles are come about me ; 
my sins have taken such hold upon me, 
that I am not able to look up ; yea, they 
are more in number than the hairs of my 
head, and my heart hath failed me." 

It was long past midnight when Eus- 
tace, worn out in body and mind, as- 
cended the steep narrow stairs which led 
to his bed-room. Sleep, however, before 
long, there mercifully visited him — he was 
so completely exhausted with all he had 
felt and done since he had last lain upon 
that bed. Oh, the happiness of sleep to 
an harassed, troubled spirit ! the blessed- 
ness of that sort of dreamy indifference to 
all outward objects, which slowly steals 
over the senses ! the gradual confusion of 
thought and recollection which makes all 
real thought impossible, until every im- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. / 

pression becomes fainter and fainter, and 
existence itself seems to come to an end ! 

Eefreslied by these hours of rest, Eus- 
tace was enabled to put his whole soul 
and mind into the service of the following 
day, and never before, perhaps, had he 
preached with so much onction. 

By the time afternoon service was 
ended, a dismal, drizzHng rain had set in. 
He had not courage to face such another 
long, solitary evening as the preceding, in 
his little dark parlour, so wrapping liim- 
self in his cloak, he set out to visit a poor 
man who lived two or three miles distant, 
and who was in the last stage of con- 
sumption. He found him stretched on 
his bed, the pale hue of death already on 
his face, and breathing most painfully. 
His wife was at his side, the Bible on her 
lap, wiping away the cold perspiration 
which bedewed his forehead. 

" Oh, sir, I am so glad you are come !'' 
she exclaimed, as soon as she perceived 
Eustace, '' for poor Eobert has been much 



b THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

worse, and lie has got again into his old 
unhappy ways, and frets sadly over what 
he calls his bad life, though I'm sure it 
would be well were all as good as he. 
But I dare say you will be able to give 
him some comfort, you say such beautiful 
things." 

" I have been from home," said Eus- 
tace, " or I should have been here before. 
But what is it which so distresses you ?" 
he inquired, kindly taking the poor suf- 
ferer's hand. 

" Oh, my sins ! my sins ! they so haunt 
me, some new one always starting up 
before me ; and then I feel death every 
hour, every minute almost, coming nearer 
and nearer. Oh, it is so dreadful ! if I 
knew what to do 1" 

" Have you, then, forgot," said Eustace, 
" all that I told you the other day, about 
the Son of Grod leaving heaven, and com- 
ing into this world, and dying a dreadful 
death, in order to save us from the pun- 
ishment we all deserve, by taking that 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 9 

punishment upon himself — have you for- 
gotten all that ?" 

" Oh, no, I remember it all ! but per- 
haps my sins were not included ; perhaps 
Jesus Christ did not know how great a 
sinner I should be." 

" Oh, my good friend !" said Eustace, 
" depend upon it. He then knew, much 
better than you do yourself at this mo- 
ment, all the sins you would ever commit. 
More than half of them you have yom'self 
probably now quite forgotten, and num- 
bers and numbers you never thought of, 
even at the moment you were guilty of 
them ; but they were all written down in 
Grod's book." 

" Ay ! that's the dreadful thought ! 
that's what so terrifies me," said the dying 
man, " having to answer for all this." 

''Yes, it would be terrible, indeed," 
rephed Eustace, " if that same Jesus 
Christ, who will be our judge at the last 
day, had not taken those sins upon him- 
self. I will read to you a very interesting 



10 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

sort of story in the Old Testament, which 
will, I think, help to explain all this to 
you,"- — and Eustace turned to the chapter 
containing the account of the yearly cere- 
mony of the scapegoat, over whose head 
the chief priest confessed all the sins of 
the people, and then sent him thus laden, 
into the wilderness, where he was seen 
and heard of no more. 

The poor awakened sinner seemed much 
struck, and repeated these words after 
Eustace — " Aaron shall lay his hands on 
the head of the goat, and confess over 
liim all the iniquities of the children of 
Israel, and all their sins, putting them on 
the head of the goat, and shall send him 
away into the wilderness, and the goat 
shall bear upon him all their iniquities 
into a land not inhabited ; and the goat 
will be turned into the wilderness, and 
be seen and heard of no more." 

"Oh, how comfortable!" exclaimed the 
dying man. " What blessed words ! — 
* they were heard of no more* " 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 11 

" These ' comfortable words/ " contiiiTied 
Eustace, " are addi'essed, you know, to 
eacli of us. God has laid upon his Son 
our sins ; He is our scapegoat ; He has 
taken them all away, and they wiU be 
heard of no more against us, if we trust 
in Him. Now, don't 3^ou understand 
this?" 

" Yes, I understand ; but stiU — still I 
wish I had not been so great a sinner, for 
I can't help thinking I should have died 
easier." 

" The truth is, I fear," said Eustace, 
" that you want to be able to claim some 
merit of yom* own, some reward as your 
due ; you will not accept of a favour — a 
free gift, even from Grod himself. Is not 
that the case ? Oh, my good friend ! all 
such self-righteous feehngs must be en- 
tirely discarded, for you will never be able 
to look death in the face in that way. But 
if you are not tfred, I will read to you 
another Httle story out of the Old Testa- 
ment, which wiU still further explain what 



12 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

I mean," — and Eustace turned to the 
21st chapter of Numbers, in wliich we 
find the account of the Israelites beins: 
wounded by the fiery serpents in the wil- 
derness, and healed by looking to the 
brazen serpent raised on the pole. " Now," 
said Eustace, " do you think these wounded 
Israehtes would have had a better chance 
of being cured of their wounds if they had 
applied plaisters and balsams of their own 
invention, instead of merely doing what 
they were told, and looking to the brazen 
serpent? and do you think, my friend, 
you would be safer, more secure of sal- 
vation, if you had your own good works 
to trust to, than you may be now, 
knowing that yom- Saviour is willing 
to heal your soul, to stand surety for you, 
having taken all your sins upon himself?" 

" Oh, no, no !" exclaimed the poor man, 
" and I see now, how ungrateful I should 
be if I did not trust entirely to Him." 

Tears began to run down his pale face. 

'' I wiU not talk to you any more, to- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 13 

day, said Eustace ;" " think over all this, 
and when I come again, I will read to 
you some more of these stories, for I 
know you cannot read." 

The sick man shook his head mourn- 
fuUy. 

" But your mfe can, I behave ; so I 
will mark for her another of these stories," 
— and Eustace tm-ned dowTi the page in 
their Bible, at the institution of the 
Passover, and the marking of the door- 
posts of the Israehtes with the blood of 
the lamb. A^^ile he was doing tliis, the 
sick man, with his eyes closed, was re- 
peating to liimself, " And their sins were 
all laid upon the goat, and he was taken 
away into the wilderness, and seen and 
heard of no more." 

Eustace was so occupied during his 
walk home, with the scene he had left, 
and with thinking over all the passages 
in Scripture applicable to the case of this 
self- convicted sinner, that he was quite 
unconscious of the pace at Avhich he had 



14 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

walked, and of the distance that he had 
got over, until he found himself at his 
own door. It was by this time quite 
dark; he lit his lamp, and immediately 
took down from the shelf his large Bible 
with references, marking all the texts best 
calculated to confirm the faith, and give 
peace to one troubled in mind; and so 
entirely was he engrossed by his occupa- 
tion, that his thoughts never once, during 
that evening, wandered to Lucy or Stan- 
hope-street. 

The next morning he had to examine 
the school children, and attend to other 
parish duties, but he did not fail again to 
\dsit the dying man, and this he continued 
to do, day after day, until this object of 
his anxious interest was brought to cast 
himself, in humble gratitude, entirely 
on the merits of his Saviour, and 
having partaken of the Holy Sacrament, 
breathed liis last in perfect peace. Wlien 
Eustace, for the last time, crossed the 
threshold of that lowly dwelling, and left 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 15 

his liumble friend stretched a corpse upon 
that bed, beside which he had passed so 
many hours, tears stole from his eyes, but 
they had no bitterness in them ; on the 
contrary, they were tears of gratitude to 
his heavenly Father, for employing him 
in his work, for having enabled lum to 
give comfort to a fellow- sinner, and for 
still providing him with such strong 
interests in life. And thus, in the con- 
scientious discharge of his duties, as the 
servant of God, the mind of Eustace once 
more recovered its tone, and he experienced 
such blessed feelings of peace and content- 
ment that, at times, he could almost mis- 
take them for actual happiness. 

The twelve months for which he had 
undertaken the charge of the parish of 
Ashford were now drawing to a close ; and 
having heard from Mr. Summer, that he 
should return home at the new year, 
Eustace began to tmii his mind towards 
the fature, feeling that he must now make 
some sort of plan for himself,^reparatory^sZ 



16 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

to the moment, now fast approaching, 
when he would take fall orders. He had 
had no communication whatever with his 
uncle, respecting the hving of Elsmere, 
since that day of unlooked-for, ecstatic 
happiness, now nearly five years ago, 
when he had been released by him from 
his former hfe of irksome drudgery in his 
banking-house, and when prospects of 
possible futm-e happiness, of which he had 
never before even dreamt, had been 
opened to him ; l)ut those bright pro- 
spects, he could not but feel, were now 
completely at an end. " His dream had 
gone by contraries," as Lucy had foretold 
it would. His situation in his uncle's 
family was totally changed — Elsmere was 
no longer his home ; its door was now 
closed to him ; those cold^ careless words 
of Mr. Lushington, in reply to his con- 
fession (" Under existing circumstances, it 
vAll be as well you should not come to Els- 
mere as formerly), had sunk deep into his 
heart, and the prohibition had never been 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH 17 

recalled. It is true, liis uncle had, 
througli the medium of his kind friend 
Mr. Watson, made some advances towards 
what he called a reconciliation, but that 
was all. Nothing was said (or unsaid) 
with regard to the future or the past. And 
as for Mrs. Lushington, she had not, at 
their last, indeed their only meeting, 
during the last two years, attempted to 
conceal how unwelcome a visitor he was 
in Stanhope-street; and thus, banished 
from the only home he had ever known, 
Eustace felt liimself to be alone in the 
world, and that he must, therefore, endea- 
vour in some way to provide for his 
future existence. 

Having come to this resolution, he 
wrote to his friend Neville, acquainting 
him with his approaching departure from 
Ashford, and informing him of his future 
plans : — 

" My dear Mr. Neville, — 

" Being on the point of giving up 

VOL. II. c 



18 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

the charge of the parish, with which, 
through your kind intervention, I have, 
during the last year, been intrusted, I 
write to tell you of my movements 
and future intentions. I trust the past 
year has not been entirely lost to me, and 
that I have got some insight into the 
active^ practical duties of a country curate. 
Everything in this, your friend's parish, 
is so well regulated, the ground on which 
I was to labour so well broken up, I could 
not possibly have begun my clerical life 
under more favourable auspices. I have 
now but another fortnight to remain here, 
and must, therefore, form some plans for 
the disposal of myself, my time, and my 
existence. 

" My prospects being so uncertain, or 
rather, I may say, having no prospects at 
all, and being, in consequence, quite ig- 
norant as to what and where my future 
labours may be (should the Lord be pleased 
to employ me at all in his vineyard),! have 
taken it into my head to apply for a time 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 19 

to the study of languages (of Oriental 
languages, I mean) ; for, besides the possi- 
bility of their being, some day, of use to 
me, they will, at this moment, be a stiff 
sort of study, which I feel I require — a 
kind of labour which will oblige me to 
' keep up to my collar.' You, my dear 
friend, with your well-regulated mind, 
have never, I dare say, needed such self- 
discipline ; but I know I do. For this 
purpose, I propose, on leaving this, to go 
for a time to London, where, besides 
finding, no doubt, the means of obtaining 
the instruction which I desire, I shall 
have opportunities of hearing different 
preachers, and shall, therefore, not lose 
my time in that way. That (I mean 
preaching) was the part of my dutj^ which 
I found to be most difficult, being, at first, 
sad, nervous work. But I am thankful 
to say, I am now much hardened to it ; 
indeed, I generally am scarcely aware that 
any one is listening to me, or even that I 
have any auditory at all. I propose also, 

2 



20 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

while I am in London, getting some 
smattering of medicine ; perhaps attend- 
ing the hospitals, as such knowledge may- 
be very -Qsefal to me, even as a parish 
priest at home. I need not add, how 
thankfal I shall ever be for any advice 
from jov. 

" I remain, 
" Your gratefully affectionate Friend, 

'' E. d." 

Christmas-day was the last on which 
Eustace performed Divine service at Ash- 
ford. On entering the church that morn- 
ing, his attention was immediately at- 
tracted by the bright holly and ivy 
wreaths, with which it was decorated, 
recalling to his mind the similar winter 
garlands which he and Lucy had together 
fabricated for the " old ^rey chm'ch " at 
Elsmere, during the Christmas hohdays, 
in his schoolboy days. A pang shot 
through his heart — the past was in an 
instant conjured up before him ; and it 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 21 

required all his self-command to banish 
these thoughts from his mind while going 
through the services of the day. 

The many " Merry Christmases/' too, 
with which he was greeted by his 
parishioners, as he passed through the 
churchyard on his way home, vibrated 
dismally on his heart, recaUing also by- 
gone days. How few there are who, 
after the very first years of life are fled, 
can hear those words of Christian con- 
gratulation on the anniversary of the 
Saviour's birth, without a sensation of 
pain, without past days of happiness — 
friends who once enjoyed them with us, 
and who are now in their graves — being 
painfully recalled. A very few years had, 
as yet, passed over the head of Eustace 
Grey, and yet already how totally changed 
were his prospects and views in hfe ! Al- 
ready, he had a past existence to sigh over 
— already, he hved in recollections which 
were too sorely sensitive to bear being 
touched. 



22 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

As lie, on that Christmas evening, after 
the duties of the day were over, sat alone 
in his little parlom*, again his lamp and 
fire both seemed to burn unusually dimly ; 
again Lucy's image haunted him. Was 
she at that moment at Elsmere? Was 
she there alone, in that solitude to wliich 
she had looked with such apparent dismay? 

Unable to banish these thoughts from 
his mind, or to fix it on any occupation, 
and having in vain taken down book 
after book from the shelf, and almost 
immediately replaced them, finding it im- 
possible to make sense of the words before 
him, although reading them over and 
over, he at length gave the matter up ; 
and, opening his desk, wrote to Xed Wat- 
son, begging for some news of the Lush- 
ington family, where they were, and what 
they were about ; and also informing him 
of his intention of being soon in to^vn, 
and requesting he would find him some 
cheap residence for a few weeks. 

By retm-n of post, he received an 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 23 

answer from poor Ked, delighted at the 
prospect of seeing his good friend Grey so 
soon, and informing him he had secured a 
lodging for him in the neighbourhood of 
Westminster, but that his father hoped 
he would consider his house as his club. 

" As for the Lushington famil}^," Ned 
continued, ''all I know about them is, 
that they have had a large Christmas 
party with them at Elsmere, Lord and 
Lady Eainsforth, and a heap o^ fine com- 
pany, and that they have been acting 
charades and plays, and I don't know 
what all. Mr. Lushington himself w^as 
not there (as you may guess, when hearing 
of such gay doings), being detained in 
London, so ' while the cat was away, the 
mice did play.' It is said, that Miss 
Lushington has dismissed her slow-coach 
lover, notwithstanding the 18^^ balls on 
his head; so there is still a chance for 
you, if you look sharp. 
" Yours, 

" Ed. Watsox. 



(^ A 



24 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

" P. S. — There is a deliglitful harlequin 
farce at Drury-Lane now acting, ' Mother 
Goose.' I am sure you will never resist 
that, and I trust you have, hy this time, 
thought better upon the subject of 
theatres." 

" Lucy acting charades and plays with 
a heap of fine company at Elsmere !" 
Eustace repeated to himself, in a dejected 
tone, as he folded up Ned Watson's letter. 
" Lucy is, indeed, lost to me." 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 



CHAPTEE II. 

Eustace had now been nearly three 
weeks in London, and had not as yet 
caUed in Stanhope-street ; many feelings 
making him shrink from doing so. He 
sometimes, after a morning spent in hard 
application, strolled towards the park, and 
always entered and left it by the Stanhope - 
street gate, in the hope of accidentally 
seeing his uncle ; but chance had not yet 
favoured him, and this delay, of course, 
only increased his nervous dread of the 
interview. 

His uncle's manner to him was al- 
ways so inexplicable, Eustace never knew 
what his own should be towards him; 
and as for Mrs. Lushington, hers was 
most decidedly not encouraging : but 
what he dreaded most was the revival of 



26 THE OLD GUEY CHURCH. 

those agitating feelings which he knew 
the sight of Lucy would occasion. At 
length, however, one afternoon, after he 
had for some time paced up and down the 
opposite pavement, feehng it in a manner 
his duty to call on his uncle, he resolved 
to take courage, and boldly crossing the 
street, knocked at No. 14, inquiring 
whether Mr. Lushington was at home ? 
"I will see, sir," said the servant, who 
recognised him, and in a minute or two 
Eustace was admitted into that same room 
on the ground-floor where he had been 
before. His uncle was lying back in a 
chair near the fire, and apparently un- 
occupied — a most unusual occurrence mth 
him — although the table behind him was, 
as usual, covered with letters and papers. 
His looks were still more ha^ggard and 
worn than when Eustace had seen him 
last, his face more drawn and sallow, his 
brow more contracted. He welcomed his 
nephew (for him) kindly ; bidding him 
immediately sit down by him, and in- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 27 

quiring, with some appearance of interest, 
into his present life and occupations, and 
where he was Hving ? 

Eustace told him of his being now in 
London, in the interim of his taking fuU. 
orders, and of his studying Sanscrit and 
other languages. 

" Studying Sanscrit and TTindostanee 
languages !" exclaimed Mr. Lushington. 
" "Will that be of any use to you in your 
profession ?" 

" Oh, I don't know, perhaps not, but 
whatever exercises the mind, and forces 
attention, is good for one, and at this 
moment I have no emploj^ment." 

Mr. Lushington made no immediate 
reply, but after a minute's pause, and as if 
he had not attended to what Eustace had 
said, he inquired whether he had yet 
taken priest's orders ? 

" ISTo, not yet, but I shall before very 
long." 

There was another pause, dm-ing which 
Mr. Lushington sat with his head resting 



28 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

on his hand ; at length he abruptly said — 
" I am sure my mind needs something to 
put it in better state, but I fear the 
remedy you prescribe for yourself, will 
not do for me. The truth is," he added, 
in a dejected tone, " with me the machine 
is fairly worn out/' 

" You overwork yourself, sir, I fear," 
said Eustace, much moved by his uncle's 
apparent suffering condition ; '' you need 
more rest." 

" I suppose I do, but it can't be helped 
now. Look there," he continued, pointing 
to the piles of papers which lay on the 
table beside him, " How can I rest with 
all that ? and there is that tiresome 
Elsmere bailiff of mine, who is always 
bothering me with his accounts and state- 
ments. I msh with all my heart — " Mr. 
Lushington suddenly stopped, and the 
blood for a minute rushed into his face — 
" The truth is," he resumed, " I am not 
now equal to these things, and that Elsmere 
property is more trouble and worry to me 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 29 

than it is worth ; however, all this happens 
at this moment to be worse than usual, 
for I have been forced to give that poor 
devil Ned Watson a fortnight's holiday, 
as I could not spare him at Christmas." 

While Mr. Lushington was thus con- 
fessing his total unfitness for business, 
Eustace was summoning courage to offer 
his assistance, and at length said, but in 
so low a voice as scarcely to be heard even 
by himself, and without looking at his 
uncle — " You have formerly employed me 
as your secretary, would you not do so 
again ? It would give me so much pleasure, 
if T could be of any use to you." 

" You !" exclaimed Mr. Lushington, 
turning hastily towards his nephew, with 
an odd sort of sarcastic sneer on his face 
— " You ! Oh, you are now above such 
drudgery work, you know ; I could never 
think of employing you." 

" Nothing would give me greater plea- 
sure," Eustace again repeated, his voice 
actually tremblmg with agitation ; for 



30 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

cold and uncongenial to his nature as was 
that of his nncle, still liis heart yearned 
towards him. He was also so much asso- 
ciated in his mind, with those former 
happy days, when he had been sheltered 
under his roof; and being again in any- 
way employed by and connected with him, 
would restore to him, perhaps, his former 
position in his uncle's family, and relieve 
him, in some degree, from the painful 
feeHjig of utter loneHness which oppressed 
him; and, besides all this, Mr. Lushing- 
ton actually moved his compassion ! — such 
a wreck of what had once been a powerful 
mind ! There was a silence of a few mi- 
nutes, when Eustace, at length, gaining 
courage, again returned to the charge. 
" Could I not, at least, count up for you 
some of these awful columns of figures in 
your baihff 's letter ? Merely tell me what 
you want done, or write a little memo- 
randum at the corner, as you used for- 
merly to do, and I am sure I should soon 
get into the way of it all again — although 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 31 

possibly I may be a little out of practice, 
for my own accounts are certainly easily 
cast up and settled." 

Eustace had no sooner uttered these 
words, than he regretted having made 
this careless allusion to the smallness of 
his own means ; and to conceal his con- 
fusion, when conscious of their possible 
interpretation, he stooped down towards 
the writing-table, and took up the Elsmere 
bailiff's letter — 

"Now, do set me my task, my dear 
imcle, and I will at least do my best." 

'' Oh, as for your best/' rejoined Mr. 
Lusliington, " you always understood me 
at a word; always saved me trouble. 
Poor Xed Watson, I believe, does all he 
can ; but it is a very different story from 
what it was \^^hen you were with me." 

The colour deepened in Eustace's face. 
"Well, do try me again," said he, as he 
sat down at the table, and prepared pen 
and paper before him. 

Mr. Lusliington actually smiled upon 



32 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

him, and, looking over the various calcula- 
tions and letters, made the necessary notes 
as formerly at the corner of those to be an- 
swered. While doing this, his eye seemed 
by chance to fall upon a paper in his own 
hand- writing ; he hastily caught it up, 
and put it into one of those strong messen- 
ger-boxes, which shut with a Bramah- 
spring lock, and in the same nervously- 
hurried manner, he directly locked up 
the box in a drawer of his writmg- 
table. He then, after carefully examin- 
ing every paper which lay on the table, 
went up to Eustace, and, familiarly lay- 
ing his hand on his shoulder, bent down 
to see whether he was doing what he 
w^anted. 

" Quite right, quite right," he said, 
after a minute, in an approving tone. — 
" Well," he continued, " if you are really 
going to take this trouble for me, I will 
go out, and get a little fresh air, before it 
is quite dark; and I shall find you here 
at my return, for you have a pretty tough 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 33 

job, I can tell you ; that bailiif of mine is 
so dreadfully confused and long-winded in 
liis stories." 

Mr. Lushington took up liis bat, and 
went to the door, then, hastily returning, 
" Of course you will stay and dine with 
us. You have no engagement ?" 

Eustace made some attempt at an ex- 
cuse, but could think of none. 

" That's right," added his uncle, taking 
apparently his silence for consent ; " I shall 
not be absent long." 

He then left the room, and Eustace 
heard the hall-door shut after him. 

The minute he was gone, the pen fell 
from the hand of Eustace ; the bailiff's 
accounts became all confusion before his 
eyes ; and after two or three fruitless 
attempts at resuming his employment, he 
rose from his seat, and paced the room. 
What his thoughts were he scarcely liim- 
self knew, they were so contradictory; 
but he could not but be painfully sensible, 
that, notwithstanding all his past strug- 

YOL. II. D 



♦ 



34 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

gles, all his fancied victories over himself, 
joy, tumultous joy, predominated. "Fool ! 
madman ! that I am, again to expose 
myself to trials which I know I have not 
strength to contend with ! again to put 
myself in the way of temptation !" Then 
he endeavoured to quiet his conscience 
with the thought, that he had in no way 
sought this approaching meeting with 
Lucy — that it was actually forced upon 
him. Thus engrossed by his own thoughts 
and feelings, Eustace scarcely noted how 
the hour was passing, and the Elsmere 
bailiff, and his accounts, for a time went 
entirely out of his head; so that he had 
made but little progress in his task, when 
his uncle, ready-dressed for dinner, re- 
entered the room, Eustace attempted at 
some excuse for his dilatoriness. 

" Oh, never mind," said Mr. Lushing- 
ton, quite good-hum ouredly ; " I told you, 
you were not aware what a troublesome 
job you had undertaken, but leave it all 
now, and you can return to it again after 



THE OLD GUEY CHURCH. 35 

dinner, for it is near seven ; so you liad 
better go and wash your hands in my 
dressing-room, and I will go up, and let 
Mrs. Lushington know she will have a 
guest at dinner ; and, thank Heaven ! you 
are om- only guest to-day !" So saying, 
after showing Eustace the way to his 
room, Mr. Lushington went up stairs, 
and informed Mrs. Lushington of Eustace 
Grey being in the house, and that he 
would dine ^nith them. 

" Eustace Grey !" exclaimed Mrs. Lush- 
ington, in no very joyful or welcome tone 
and expression of countenance, " What ! 
has he started up again ? what a plague ! 
I wish he would mind his own business, 
and remain at his college !" 

" He is minding my business just now," 
said Mr. Lushington, sharply, ''and has 
been acting as my clerk all this after- 
noon." 

"Your clerk! What! have you engaged 
him again ? I am very sorry for it ! I 
suppose he has got tired of his piety, as I 

D 2 



36 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

always said he woiild, and wishes to get 
back to the banking house." 

" Engaged Eustace again as my clerk !" 
repeated Mr. Lushington : " why you for- 
get that he has actually taken orders 1" 

" Well then, why don't he keep to his 
orders ?" rejoined Mrs. Lushington, her 
manner becoming more and more excited. 
^' I did not think that parsons came to 
London for the season of balls and operas 
and such things, not good parsons at least !" 

Mr. Lushington was so much in the 
habit of letting his wife talk on, without 
taking any notice of what she said, that 
he made no comment on these words, and 
Mrs. Lushington continued — '' I hope at 
any rate, you are not going to encourage 
him in coming to this house, for that is a 
thing I cannot allow of." 

"You forget," said Mr. Lushington, 
angrily, " that Eustace is my nephew." 

"Nephew or no nephew, I shall cer- 
tainly set my face against his visits here," 
continued Mrs. Lushington ; " he is a regu- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 37 

lar nuisance, frightening every one away !" 
and so saying, Mrs. Lusliington hurried 
out of the room, and going straight up to 
Lucy's apartment, she dismissed the maid 
who was dressing her, and at once broke 
forth — '' There is Eustace Grrey below, and 
your father — " 

" Eustace 1" exclaimed Lucy, starting 
up, and the colour deepening in her cheek, 
evidently with pleasure, " Oh, how glad I 
am ! thank you, I shall be down directly." 

"Dear me!" exclaimed Mrs. Lusliing- 
ton, " there is no need to be in such a 
fluster about Eustace Grey ! and I only 
came up to tell you of your father's having 
asked him to dinner, in order to warn you 
that I will not allow of your behaving as 
foolishly together as the last time he was 
here, sitting side by side on the couch, 
like a couple of babies, and speaking in 
whispers, and all that childish sort of 
thing. And I give you warning, if that 
is to be the way again, I shall in pretty 
plain terms tell Mr. Eustace that his 
absence is better than his company; so 



38 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

remember !" and with this warning Mrs., 
Lushington left the room. 

Dinner was announced before Lucy had 
made her appearance, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Lushington, followed by Eustace, went 
down to the dining-room. The latter 
maintained his composure as much as pos- 
sible, and succeeded tolerably, endeavour- 
ing to talk on some of the usual topics of 
the day to his uncle, although all the time 
straining his ears to catch the first sound 
of the well-known footstep. 

Ever since his uncle had proposed his 
remaining to dinner, Eustace had been 
planning in his own mind what his man- 
ner towards Lucy should be — how he 
should meet her, and what he should say 
to her on meeting. But he might have 
spared himself all this trouble, for the mo- 
ment she appeared, he totally forgot all 
his preconcerted plans, and starting from 
his chair, he rushed up to her and grasped 
her outstretched hand. Neither of them 
said a word, and both with flushed cheeks 
immediately took their places on the oppo- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 39 

site sides of the dinner-table, and both for 
some minutes continued silent ; for Mrs. 
Lushington had, by all her cautions and 
prohibitions, occasioned an embarrassment 
of manner on the part of Lucy which 
otherwise would not have existed; and 
Eustace felt he must recover his breath 
before he attempted to speak, 

Lucy was going to some fashionable 
West End evening entertainment, and was 
dressed and decorated as Eustace had never 
seen her before ; indeed as he had never 
seen any one, his life having been passed 
so entirely out of the world of fashion and 
dissipation. She had now recovered from 
that state of nervous depression occasioned 
by all the sad scenes at Elsmere, at the 
time of her brother Frederick's death. 
She seemed improved in health, and con- 
sequently in looks ; and although her bril- 
liant worldly decorations gave a pang to 
his heart, Eustace could not but ac- 
knowledge to himself how much they 
added to her beauty ; and when he 



40 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

ventured occasionally to raise his eyes 
towards her, they were actually fascinated. 

Eustace so sincerely, so ardently loved 
Lucy — for herself — he had scarcely ever 
asked himself whether he admired her 
beauty, the feelings she excited in his 
breast being far beyond those of mere ad- 
miration. But now he could no longer 
doubt how much share her personal attrac- 
tions had in his captivation ; but he stood 
even this additional trial bravely, and soon 
overcoming his agitation, he continued the 
subject on which he and his uncle were 
conversing before Lucy entered ; for Mr. 
Lushington had been asking for informa- 
tion respecting those Oriental languages 
which Eustace had said he was now study- 
ing, which inquiry led to various topics 
connected with India generally, on all 
which subjects he found Eustace to be re- 
markably well informed. 

" "Well," said Mr. Lushington, after a 
pause, " perhaps all this study of languages 
may, as you say, be good exercise for the 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 41 

mind ; but I must confess it seems to me 
that you are rather wasting your time, by 
giving up so much of it to what cannot 
possibly be of any use to you, situated as 
you are ; for youi' Sanscrit, and, what do 
you call it ? — Hindostanee — will not help 
to edify a country congregation at home, 
I should think, any more than Mr. Wood- 
ford's long rigmaroles about apostohc 
succession, and aU that stuff and non- 
sense." 

Eustace did not immediately reply ; he 
dared not, for he was aware that Lucy's 
eyes were fixed upon him, and that she 
Avas Hstening to every word he said. But 
after a minute, he added, in a lowered 
voice, " Kumbers of young men destined 
for holy orders study these languages now 
— so many go out as missionaries." 

Mr. Lushington made no comment : 
and Lucy, who had withdrawn her eyes 
from Eustace, seemed engrossed by her 
own thoughts. 

All this time Mrs. Lushington had 



42 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

taken especial pains to show slie did not 
attend to anything Eustace said, by con- 
tinually breaking in with some silly tri- 
fling remark to Lucy, relative to their past 
and future engagements ; but finding her 
daughter to be at that moment rather an 
absent listener, she (e\ddently much dis- 
composed) suddenly started up from the 
dinner-table, and making an excuse, that 
she had not yet dressed for their evening 
engagement, hurried out of the room, 
Lucy of course following her. Before 
closing the door, Lucy turned and looked 
tow^ards Eustace ; his eyes had been 
riveted upon her ever since she had, in 
consequence of Mrs. Lushington's move- 
ments, risen from her seat, so that their 
eyes then met. She gave him one of her 
bewitcliing, innocent smiles of confiding 
afiection, recalling former days, and it 
thrilled to his very inmost soul. A deep 
sigh escaped from him, and for a minute 
or two after the door had closed, he was 
silent and preoccupied. But Mr. Lush- 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 43 

ington was habitually so silent himself, 
he did not notice Eustace's abstraction, 
and after they had thus remained for a 
short time, each engrossed with his own 
thoughts, ]\Ir. Lushington proposed they 
should return to his study, and Eustace 
resume the business he had not yet com- 
pleted. 

And there Eustace laboured, unraveUing 
confused calculations and accounts, till 
near eleven o'clock, when Mr. Lushington 
chancing to look at his watch, suddenly 
started from his seat, and, holding out his 
hand to Eustace, said, ^' Well, I will not 
let you remain any longer ; many thanks 
for all you have done for me : you have 
been of very great use — conferred a great 
favour upon me." 

" And will you not let me come again, 
sir ?" said Eustace. " Is there nothing 
else I can do ? No letters to write ? No 
more calculations to make? Can't I 
relieve you in some way ; at least, while 
Watson is absent ?" 



44 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

" Oh, no ! that would be too unreason- 
able. I cannot ; and I am sure you have 
plenty of occupation of your own." 

" Indeed, my dear uncle," said Eustace, 
in a voice which plainly showed how much 
from the heart he spoke, "you cannot 
do me a greater favour than by employ- 
ing me. I am quite an idle man at 
this moment, and idleness is not whole- 
some." 

" You are a very wise man for saying 
that," replied Mr. Lushington ; and taking 
Eustace at his word, he began looking 
over the papers on his table to see which 
were those of most pressing consequence. 
"Well," he resumed, after a minute or 
two, " I believe I should be very glad of 
a Httle help here. Can you come to me to- 
morrow afternoon, at the same time you 
did to-day ? and of course stay to dinner,' 
he added. 

Whether Conscience whispered to Eus- 
tace not to accept of this repeated invita- 
tion, or whether she at that moment left 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 45 

him to his fate, we know not, but he 
agreed to the arrangement. 

" Well, then, to-morrow at five. Good 
night." And thus the uncle and nephew 
parted. 

When Eustace reached the entrance- 
hall, he saw the house-door was open ; 
there was a carriage waiting outside, and 
at that minute ]\Irs. Lushington and Lucy 
were on the stahs, setting off for their 
evening's dissipation. He could not but 
stop, and even ventm-ed to offer Mrs. 
Lushington his arm to help her into the 
can-iage ; but she not very graciously 
dechned his services, sapng, " The foot- 
man understood the business better ;" so 
he drew back, not daring to advance to- 
wards Lucy. But she immediately came 
up to him, and holding out her hand, the 
old " pla}^ellow " good night passed be- 
tween tbem, recalling so much to the mind 
of Eustace ; and then, suddenly retm-ning 
towards him, "Where are you going, 
Eustace ?" 



46 THE OLD GUEY CHURCH. 

" Home," he replied, " to Westminster." 

" To Westminster ? Is not that very 
far off?" And hurrying up to Mrs. 
Lushington, who was by this time seated 
in the carriage — " Mamma, could we not 
take Eustace home ? He has such a long 
walk, and it is raining." 

" Take Eustace home ! What can you 
be thinking of? Certainly not. Come, 
get in, for we are much too late already, 
without losing more time about Eustace," 
she added, in a lower and angry tone to 
herself. 

Lucy could but obey her, and she and 
Mrs. Lushington disappeared in the dark- 
ness of the street. 

Eustace, according to his agreement 
with Mr. Lushington, returned to Stan- 
hope-street the next afternoon, and the 
next, and the next. Sometimes, when 
his prescribed task detained him late, 
staying to dinner, but oftener not, al- 
though always invited by his uncle, who 
appeared to find some relaxation to his 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 47 

mind in the hom\ of tete-a-tete con versa- ^ 
tion wliicli he had with his nephew, when 
Mrs. Lushington and Lucy left the dining- 
room. As for Mrs. Lushington, she never 
in any way relaxed in lier systematic, 
cold, repulsive treatment of Eustace ; and 
she kept such strict watch over Lucy, that 
any intercourse between the cousins was 
impossible, beyond what could not be 
avoided, meeting now so repeatedly. Their 
renewed intercourse, however, had one 
good effect upon Eustace — it accustomed 
him, in some degree, to the intoxication 
of her presence, and gave him more 
command over himself. But the poison 
of love was day by day gaining groimd 
upon his heart's constitution, and of this 
he could not but be aware, notwithstand- 
ing his conviction that the life which 
Lucy now led widened still farther the gulf 
between them ; and often and often during 
his nocturnal walks home from Stanhope- 
street, after parting with Lucy radiant 
with youth, spirits, and brilliant decora- 



48 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

tions, as she set out for her evening's 
amusement, did those words of Neville, "Is 
she a child of God?" painfully haunt 
him. 

There was so much ''going on'' now in 
the London world of amusement, that Mrs. 
Lushington never attempted any more of 
her " nice little quiet dinner-parties at 
home," making the most of every invita- 
tion from her new fasliionable friends. 
And invitations they had now in plenty ; 
their drawing-room chimney-piece being 
entirely covered with " At Homes " for 
Mrs. and Miss Lushington : for the 
report of Lucy's splendid worldly pro- 
spects had spread far and wide, and many 
were vying mth each other for her 
favours. And (for the truth must be 
told) Lucy enjoyed all this very much. 
She Hked the amusements of the world — 
she Hked admiration — she liked all the 
flattering attention shown her — she liked 
many of those now paying their court to 
her very much — thought them very 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 49 

agreeable. She liked her old Eoman 
acquaintance, Sir Alexander Melville, for 
he amused her very much, and she was 
always glad when he was her partner at a 
ball-supper. Sometimes she thought he 
perhaps went too far in his ridicule of 
serious matters, and she was conscious 
that many of his jokes would not have 
been approved of by Eustace ; and at such 
times a cloud came over Lucy's spirits 
and countenance. Her thoughts wandered 
back to former days ; and if her eyes 
chanced to fall on the ring on the third 
finger of her left hand, a pang, which she 
could hardly explain and account for to 
herself, shot through her heart, and it 
required all the wit of her neighbour to 
rouse her out of her reverie. Lord 
Pamell had, through his sister, Lady 
Emily, made his proposals in form to 
Lucy, but he and his "nSu/balls" wereT^x^^^-^-*-^ 
without a moment's demur, dismissed, 
to Mrs. Lushington's great disappointment 
and indeed displeasure ; but she did not 

VOL. II. E 



50 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

at first quite give up all hope of prevailing 
upon her daughter, by the means of her 
favourite resource of teasing, until Lady 
Emily herself assured her it was so hope- 
less a case, it would be better to look 
elsewhere for the sort of connection to 
which she aspired, and hinted at her own 
cousin the " fashionable roue," of whom 
Ned Watson had spoken to Eustace, the 
eldest son of the ruined Lord Peter- 
borough. 

" He has at this moment, I fear," con- 
tinued Lady Emily to Mrs. Lushington, 
" got himself into a foolish sort of scrape 
with that pretty Mrs. Yernon, his friend, 
Captain Vernon's wife ; but as that 
affair has been going on for some time, 
I don't think it need interfere with our 
plans for Lucy. She is too sensible a 
girl, I am sure, to make any nonsensical 
fuss about such little peccadilloes, and 
I really beheve nothing is truer than the 
saying, that 'the reformed rake makes 
the best husband.' " 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 51 

" Oh nothing !" said Mrs. Lushington, 
with quite a sanctified look, and in her 
gravest tone and manner ; *' and as for 
finding a man who has never done wrong, 
Lucy will remain an old maid to the end 
of her days, if she waits for that ! Indeed, 
I am convinced it is much better to marry 
somebody who has what is called 'sown 
his wild oats ' beforehand." 

" Much better," re-echoed Lady Emily ; 
" so now then it is agreed, we give up my 
phlegmatic brother, who I plainly see will 
not stir his little finger in the business, 
although it is for his own advantage, and 
I will encourage Clifibrd's suit. Hitherto 
I have kept him rather in the background, 
for the sake of poor Parnell, as I know he 
could in no way compete with my agree- 
able cousin. I am sure, if he will but 
take the trouble. Miss Lushington will 
never be able to resist him, were a thousand 
Eustace Greys at her feet, he is so agree- 
able and so handsome. 

E 2 



LIBRARY 

UNlVERSnnf OF ILUNOIS 



52 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 



CEAPTEE III. 

Yes, as we have said, Lncy liked the 
world, and she liked admiration, for she 
was amused by the one, and flattered by 
the other; but her heart remained per- 
fectly untouched, and it was an honest, 
simple, affectionate heart. She often con- 
trasted all those, her pleasant worldly 
acquaintances, with the friend and com- 
panion of her first youth, and that 
friend could not but gain in the com- 
parison. These her new friends were 
much more what might be called agreeable 
— much more entertaining — but no one 
was like cousin Eustace ; there was no 
one she so admired, so much trusted, so 
much even loved I But she was not in 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 53 

love with liim — never had been ! She 
admired those very qualities in him which 
she felt so raised him above herself, as 
even in a manner to separate them. His 
steady devotion to duty inspired her with 
actual reverence. She had spoken the 
truth from her heart that night at the 
Colosseum, when she had exclaimed — 
" Oh Eustace, how good you are — I fear 
far, far too good for me !" This rever- 
ence might have, perhaps, occasioned a 
painfal degree of awe, had it not been 
that the oeginning of their acquaintance 
dated so far back, and had begun in such 
childish familiarity, that if when dwelling 
on his present grave character and strict 
principles she felt some alarm, one smile 
on his face, recalling her " playfellow " of 
former days, banished all fear from her 
mind. In short, there was no one Lucy 
loved — really loved — half so well as Eustace 
Grey ; but she loved him as a favourite 
brother. And when he had placed that 
sm.all, fretted gold ring on her hand, 



54 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

scarcely seventeen years having then 
passed over her head, she was so little 
acquainted with the world, and (it may 
be added) with herself, she had no idea that 
the engagement into which she had then 
entered, would have entailed upon her 
any sacrifice whatever. To pass her life 
with " dear Eustace " seemed to her then 
the most delightful of prospects. And 
even when above two years after, on their 
again meeting at Eome, he had released 
her j5:om her engagement, showing her 
the folly and sin of which he had been 
guilty in drawing her into it, she spoke 
only the truth in saying he had extorted 
no promise from her which she had not 
been willing to make, and was still willing 
to renew — for she could not at that 
moment have uttered a word or thought a 
thought, or have even listened to a feeling 
that could have pained one she so loved, 
and whom she saw so depressed and 
changed in spirits and health. But some- 
how now matters were altered ! — She 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 00 

loved Eustace as well as ever; but at 
times when Elsmere Parsonage rose up 
before her " mind's eye/' and the " dear old 
grey church " beside it, with its solemn- 
sounding bell, an impression of melan- 
choly and dulness, in spite of herself, came 
over her. Perhaps it was that she now 
associated in her mind with that once so- 
loved place, the many dismal circumstances 
connected with the church and church- 
yard. She thought that its deep-sounding 
bell would ever bring back to her mind her 
two brothers' funerals, and the miserable 
lonely feehngs which she had experienced 
that melancholy day, when Frederick was 
laid in his grave. It would, of course, be 
all different if Eustace was with her ! 
But still — still the life of a country clergy- 
man must, she feared, be very dull — very 
monotonous. And then, Eustace had now 
apparently contracted such strict notions 
upon all subjects ! In short, she could 
not help sometimes almost wishing he was 
not so very good. And when on his being 



56 THE OLD GUEY CHURCH. 

detained by her father to so late an hour, 
that they chanced to meet in the hall 
when he was preparing for his nocturnal 
walk home, and she setting out with her 
mother for their usual late -protracted 
gaieties^ how much she wished that he did 
not (as instinct told her he did) condemn 
all such amusements, and that he would 
sometimes accompany her to her balls and 
operas I 

Habit seemed, in the meantime, to make 
Eustace more and more necessary to his 
uncle, so that his afternoon visits in 
Stanhope-street became a regular thing of 
course. 

" I do not think I have much work for 
you to-day," said Mr. Lushington, one 
afternoon when, after giving the usual 
knock at the study door, Eustace had 
entered it ; " but come in, sit down, for 
I want to speak to you." 

Who has such steady nerves as not to 
be startled, when addressed by those 
words — "I want to speak to you?" 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 57 

Poor Eustace certainl}^ had not. In an 
instant a thousand thous^hts and fears 
passed through his mind, and his heart 
hegan to beat so violently, he could not 
utter a word, but in silence took the seat 
beside his uncle, to which he pointed, and 
Mr. Lushington at once began — " I have 
had a letter from ]\Ir. Woodford, and he 
tells me, that the preferment, to which he 
has long been looking, is at last offered 
him, and that he will shortly leave Els- 
mere. I do not know, not being very 
conversant with clerical matters, whether 
you will be able to take possession of the 
living at once, or whether you must 
previously take full orders ; but at all 
events I think you told me that last 
form, or ceremon}^, or whatever it is, 
would shortly take place. Wlien did you 
say? for I have forgotten." And Mr. 
Lushington looked round to his nephew 
for an answer. But not a word could that 
nephew utter ! his face was utterly colour- 
less ; he tried to speak, but his efforts were 



58 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Tain, and suddenly rising from his seat, 
lie hnrried to the further end of the room, 
and while staring vaoantly out of the 
window, he appeared to be holding com- 
munion with himself. Mr. Lushingtou 
once or twice Ik 1 ;:;d towards him 
in evident astonishment, but said nothing. 

At length, having, as he hoped, ob- 
tained some degree of mastery over him- 
self, Eustace returned to his uncle s side. 
and grasping his lumd, he, in a voice 
scarcely audible troni agitation, said — 
"Do not think me insensible to your 
kindneSwS — do not think me ungratetiil — 
but — ^but I cannot accept your oiler — I 
must refuse the living of Elsmere.'' 

"Eefuse the living of Elsmere ! why 
what in tlie world do you mean : I 
thought that had been th: ' ' ^ of your 
wishes long ago ! indeed ti.a: i: was the 
prospect of that living which had induced 
yon to enter the Church?" 

" It was." 

'' Have you then changed your mind ? 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 59 

and do you wish to change your pro- 
fession ? I am very sorry for that, I do 
not Hke such unsteadiness ; and I must 
say I did not expect it of you. ' 

'•'Oh — no, no!" exclaimed Eustace, 
with fervour, the blood again returning to 
his blanched cheek, '*' for nothing would I 
leave the Church !" 

" Then what in the world do vou mean ? 
— for I really cannot comprehend you. 
Have you any better prospects ? any other 
more influential friend ?" 

ISli. Lushington's anger was evidently 
rising. 

" I have not a friend in the world but 
you, my dear uncle," said Eustace, again 
clasping Mr. Lushington's hand. 

But the hand was coldly withdrawn. 

" Then pray explain yourself," said he, 
in his dry repulsive manner, '*' for really I 
do not understand you ; your conduct is to 
me perfectly inexphcable." 

There was the pause of a minute or two 
— neither the uncle or nephew spoke, but 



60 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

at lengtli Eustace, averting his face, while 
the quick heaving of his bosom betrayed 
the agitation of his feehngs, resumed — 
" You may remember the letter I wrote to 
3^ou on leaving Eome, about two years ago 
— the confession I then made to you — or 
possibly you may have forgotten its con- 
tents, as even at the time you seemed to 
make very light of it. But," — (Eustace 
continued with increasing excitement of 
manner,) — " But it was and is no light 
matter to me ! and I cannot, must not, 
fix my home so near to one whom I never 
can cease to love, and whom I am now 
quite aware, is separated from me for 
ever ! There is my reason for refusing 
3^our kind offer. Principle, as well as 
cowardice forces me to come to this resolu- 
tion, and I thank Grod for having given 
me strength to act up to it. I cannot, I 
must not take advantage of your kind- 
ness." 

" Then what are your intentions ?" 
inquired Mr. Lushington, somewhat re- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 61 

laxing from his cold, angrj tone and 
manner. " What ai'e your prospects ?" 

"I have none whatever — I must seek 
employment of some sort somewhere. I 
am, as I told you, studying Oriental 
languages ; preparing myself, in short, for 
a missionary life. I shall continue to do 
so until my ordination, and then I have 
no doubt I shall find some employment, 
abroad, if not at home." 

Mr. Lushington made no comment on 
these words of Eustace, but sat with his 
hand over his eyes ; at length, in a slow 
and uncertain voice, he said, " And are 
your feelings, then, with regard to Lucy, 
the same as they were these two years 

" I fear they are ! perhaps even — . In 
short, I never should have seen her again !" 
he continued hurriedly. " I never should 
have re-entered your door ! But your 
kindness in once more welcoming me to 
it, my wish to prove to you the deep 
sense I had of all my obligations to you, 



62 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

by endeavouring to be of some little use to 
you ; or rather perhaps," continued Eustace 
in a wild excited tone and manner, '' it 
was my own ungovernable passion which 
made me thus blindfold rush into danger, 
careless of consequences. But all this is 
now over. I am now fully aware of my 
madness, and this must be the last time 
I enter your house ! — Farewell, my dear, 
dear sir," exclaimed Eustace, hastily rising 
from his seat, and grasping his uncle's 
hand ; '' whatever becomes of me, wher- 
ever my lot may be cast, I shall never 
cease to pray — never forget — " 

Eustace's voice had become totally in- 
audible ; he gasped for breath — Mr. Lush- 
ing ton was actually moved. 

" Sit do\vn for a minute," said he, '' for 
you are not, I am sure, in a fit state at 
this moment to leave the house, and I 
wish to have one more word with you, 
before we part ;" and so saying, he laid his 
hand on the arm of Eustace, and obliged 
him to resume his seat ; and then, quietly 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 63 

leaving the room for a minute, he returned 
with a glass of water, and placing it on 
the table beside his nephew, " I will come 
back again to you presently," said he. 
" Now, mind you don't go away." 

Eustace, by a motion of his head, ac- 
quiesced, and by the time his uncle re- 
turned, he had again regained his com- 
posure. They sat together for several 
minutes in silence, Mr. Lushington ap- 
parently pondering over in his own mind 
what he was going to say. At length he 
began with, " I think in that letter which 
you wrote to me on leaving Eome, you 
spoke of a sort of engagement you had 
(you confessed most improperly) entered 
into with my daughter; did you mean 
that she was aware of your feelings with 
regard to her ?" 

Eustace did not speak, but by a motion 
of his head, assented to his uncle's question. 

" And does she now know of your un- 
altered attachment ? Does she return it ?" 

Eustace coloured, " I know not ; since 



64 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

we parted at Eome, I have never, either 
directly or indirectly, had any communica- 
tion whatever with Lucy — I have never 
ventured to say a word to her — ^I have 
never even seen her, hut in your presence ; 
so you may judge whether I can he ac- 
quainted with her feelings. The footing 
we are now upon — everything is totally 
changed. In former days I was her con- 
stant — indeed I may say her only — friend 
and companion ! hut now I see nothing of 
her, and when I do, I dare not speak to 
her ; but even if I had had any opportuni- 
ties of renewing our former intimacy, I 
would not have taken advantage of it. 
We are now total strangers ! Live in 
totally different worlds." 

"Ay," said Mr. Lushington, after a 
moment's pause, " and hers is a world 
which I suspect, will do her no good. I 
wish with all my heart she had never got 
into it ; that was my fault ; I never should 
have agreed, and now I fear the mischief 
is done, and I suspect Lucy is little fitted 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 65 

now to be the wife of a country clergy- 
man, whatever she might once have been, 
or fancied herself to be." 

Mr. Lushington stopped, and Eustace 
feeling himself totally unfit for even listen- 
ing to his uncle, again held out his hand 
to take leave of him. 

" One word more," said Mr. Lushing- 
ton y " if Lucy really likes you well enough 
to be willing to give up all her fine friends, 
and all this nonsense and folly of the fine 
world, I would not (for reasons I need 
not enter into) now oppose your wishes, 
my mind being changed since I last spoke 
on the subject." 

Eustace suddenly started to his feet. 
"Is it possible ?" he exclaimed. " Do I 
hear aright ? Am I not dreaming ? Oh 
my God — my Grod, it is too much, — too 
much !" And burying his face in his 
hands, he burst into tears. 

Even the cold, stern Mr. Lushington 
was moved ; for a few minutes neither of 
them spoke ; he then resumed, '' My good 

VOL. II. F 



66 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Mend, I advise you to keep down these 
transports, for I suspect you are antici- 
pating tliat of wliicli there is very Httle 
chance. The world, the horrid world of 
fashion, has got hold of Lucy and her 
mother ; and Mrs. Lushington, T plainly 
see, is bent upon her marrying some titled 
— FOOL !" (he added, with much asperity 
of tone and manner.) " I see quite 
plainly what they are about, but they will 
some day, to their cost perhaps, find out 
that they are all making a wrong calcula* 
tion, and if it were not for Lucy's sake, 
I should be glad of it — faith, I should." 

While uttering these words, Mr. Lush- 
ington's eyes glared with a fearful ex- 
pression, and he suddenly stopped ; but 
soon recovering himself, he, in a totally 
different voice and manner, resumed, " You 
have my leave, in short, Eustace, to re- 
new yom' suit to your cousin ; and, there- 
fore," he, after a minute, added, with a 
smile, strangely contrasting with the 
almost sardonic expression w^hich had 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 67 

lately crossed his featm-es, "I conclude 
you will not now refuse the living of 
Elsmere 1 That is, you know, worth 
600/. a-year: I will give Lucy 300/. 
a-year more ; that will, I think, be plenty 
for you, at least for the present; but I 
will make no futm-e promises — no settle- 
ments." 

Eustace could not speak; all this had 
come upon liim so suddenly, he was ac- 
tually stunned. 

" Well, I see," said his uncle, in an 
almost jesting tone, "you are not just 
now in as clear-headed a state for calcula- 
tion as (luckily for me) you have been 
lately ; so I mil not say auything more 
on the subject at present." 

"Do you, then, mean, sir?" asked 
Eustace, his voice still trembHng with 
emotion, " that I may come to yom- house ? 
that I may see Lucy ? may speak to her ?" 

" Yes, you have my full leave, but that 
is all I can promise you ; for I fear Mrs. 
Lushington's consent will not be so easily 

F 3 



68 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

obtained. But I will tell her what has 
now passed between ns, I wdll do that 
much for you;" and Mr. Lushington 
held out his hand to his nephew. " You 
have lately, for some reason, always 
refused staying here to dinner," he 
added; "but I presume you will not do 
so to-day V 

" Yes, my dear kind uncle," exclaimed 
Eustace, pressing the hand which he now 
held out to him ; "I must ; I am not 
equal, at this moment, to encounter Lucy. 
I am bewildered — and to-day is Saturday. 
A friend has asked me to preach for him 
to-morrow ; I must try and recover my 
senses." And, above all (Eustace might 
have added, but he knew well his uncle 
would not have understood him), I must 
go and commune with my own heart ; I 
must go and thank my God ! 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 69 



CHAPTEE lY. 

When Lucy that evening entered the 
dining-room, she looked anxiously to see 
whether there was not a fourth place pre- 
pared; for she, like Mr. Lushington, 
thought it was long since Eustace had 
dined with them ; and his society, besides 
being always a pleasure to herself, relieved 
the dulness of their family repast ; for he 
generally succeeded in rousing her father 
from his now habitual abstraction. But 
Lucy was disappointed; there were but 
the usual three chairs, the usual three 
covers, and Mr. Lushington seemed even 
more absent and absorbed than usual. 
It was (as Eustace had in part pleaded in 
excuse for so abruptly leaving Stanhope- 



70 THE OLD GREY CHUflCH. 

street) Saturday evening, and conse- 
quently Opera niglit, and it had been 
settled, that Lucy was to accompany Lady 
Eainsforth thither, (she having an esta- 
blished box at that theatre). Before long 
the usual visitors, Sir Alexander Melville 
and Mr. Clifford, joined them. Lucy was 
in particular good looks and spirits, and 
both gentlemen made the agreeable to 
her, a Tenvie I'un de I'autre ; for Mr. Clif- 
ford appeared now to be pretty decided in 
his attentions, and Sir Alexander, aware 
that he had, in consequence, a much more 
formidable opponent to contend with than 
Lord Parnell, redoubled his assiduities. 
It may seem odd that Sir Alexander did 
not make more open and ostensible efforts 
towards securing the prize he coveted ; but 
he was a wary Scotchman — he had but a 
small paternal estate, deeply in debt — he 
had no rank or title, by the means of 
which he could propitiate Mrs. Lushing- 
ton — and he, therefore, felt he must carry 
on his designs rather by stratagem than 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 71 

open attack, not to run the risk of an en- 
tire discomfiture. That Cousin Eustace 
Grey was always in his way ! ahvays again 
starting up, just when he fancied he 
had made some progress in Lucy's good 
graces ; and when he was present, Sir 
Alexander saw (or at leRsi fancied he saw), 
she had ears and eyes for no one else. It 
was probably the sight of Lucy, thus sur- 
rounded by her admirers, that brought 
her Eoman attendant, Eustace Grrey, also 
to Lady Eainsforth's mind; for, on a sud- 
den, turning to Lucy, she abruptly said, 
*' Where is your cousin, Mr. Grrey? It is 
so long since I have seen or heard any- 
thing of him ! He seems to have again 
disappeared. Where does he go and hide 
himself? Has he any living or prefer- 
ment of any kind ?" 

Sir Alexander immediately looked to- 
wards Lucy, with a scrutinizing glance : 
but there was no tell-tale blush on her 
cheek, and she replied in her usual simple 
tone and manner, " No, he has no living 



72 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

yet; he is, at this moment, in London, 
and in Stanhope-street every day." 

" In Stanhope-street every day !" re- 
peated Sir Alexander, rather thrown off 
his guard by this alarming piece of in- 
formation. 

"Yes," continued Lucy, in the same 
unembarrassed manner, "he writes for 
papa ; he is of the greatest use to liim. 
jS^o one, I tliink, understands him so 
thoroughly, and suits him so well; and 
he very often stays and dines with us ; 
and I am so glad when he does, for he 
always seems to do papa good, talking to 
him about the sort of thins^s which in- 
terest him." 

"Does he never go out at all into 
the world — into society ?" inquu'ed Lady 
Rainsforth ; "it is such a pity he don't, 
for he seems really to be so pleasant, and 
only wants a little rousing. Does he do 
duty anywhere in London ? I should 
really like to hear him preach, he has such 
an asfreeable musical voice." 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 73 

Sir Alexander, after a moment's pause, 
during whicli lie had, in his own mind, 
come to the conclusion that possibly 
Eustace's preaching might rather further 
his own views, by disgusting Lucy with 
the strictness of his religious opinions, 
said, " I happen to know that Mr. Grrey 
sometimes assists a cousin of mine (who 
is something in his own way, one of the 
over-good) at Quebec-street Chapel ; he may 
possibly preach there to-morrow.'' 

" Oh, let us go !" exclaimed Lady Eains- 
forth, apparently dehghted at having dis- 
covered something amusing to do on Sun- 
day, some object for which to go to 
church ; " Miss Lushington, would not 
you Hke to go ?" 

" I should hke excessively to hear 
Eustace preach," said Lucy, quite naturally 
and simply, (although perhaps the idea of 
seeing her playfellow in so new a charac- 
ter did at the moment somewhat brighten 
the colour in her cheek), " and I should 
think mamma can have no objection if 
you will take me." 



74 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

" Oh yes, I will take you, of course , 
you will be all in my way to Quebec-street, 
so I will call at your door, and take my 
chance. Sir Alexander, will you not escort 
us ?" 

" Oh, most certainly I will go, out of 
curiosity'' he added, ''for I will not pre- 
tend to any better motive, having, I must 
confess, no predilection in favour of your 
high-flown evangelical preachers, as they 
style themselves, which (begging your 
pardon, Miss Lushington) I suspect your 
friend. Pope Eustace, is. I hope, however, 
our intended party to Kensington Gar- 
dens in the afternoon will still hold good 
— unless Mr. Orey proves to us it is very 
wicked to go there, and that it is the high- 
road to the d — 1." 

When Lucy, on her return home, in- 
formed her mother of the proposed plan 
for next morning, the latter could not 
contain her astonishment. " Well, I had 
no idea that Lady Eainsforth was so very 
rehgious as to take so much unnecessary 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 75 

trouble about going to church. And 
why, for goodness' sake, can she wish to 
hear Eustace Grey preach, of all people 
in the world ? Some famous bishop — the 
Bishop of London, or the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, or something of that kind — I 
could understand ; but Eustace ! who has 
not even, I beheve, a living to boast of, 
and who will, I dare say, talk a parcel of 
nonsense about faith and repentance and 
all that sort of canting stuff. However, 
if Lady Eainsforth takes you and brings 
you back, of course I can't obj ect ; only 
mind, I will have no whispering and gos- 
siping with Eustace in the vestry or at 
the church door." 

" Dear mamma, how can you think that 
either Eustace or I should ever dream of 
such a thino^?" / I 

" Oh, I l^^^^know ; when he and you 
get together there is no saying what you 
may not do, you are both so childish. It 
is all his fault, I dare say; for, as I 
have often told you, he knows nothing of 



76 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

the world or good manners, how should 
he?" 

When Lady Eainsforth and her com- 
panions arrived the next morning at their 
destination at Quebec-street the service 
was abeady begun, and the church being 
very full, they could only get places in 
one of the back seats, from which, how- 
ever, the pulpit was visible. Sir Alexan- 
der's cousin read the prayers in rather a 
feeble drawling tone. The psalm which 
follows was sung, and Lucy turned to the 
communion service in her Prayer-book. 
The chancel was not visible from the pew 
which she and her companions occupied. 
There was a short pause, and then a to- 
tally different voice from that to which 
she had previously been hstening broke 
in upon the silence of the church. Lucy 
actually started ! It was the voice of 
Eustace, a voice hitherto associated in her 
mind only with every-day life, and even 
with the merry sports of childhood. And 
when she now heard its deep impressive 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 77 

tones proclaiming the Almighty's laws to 
his creatures, saying, " Grod spake these 
words," a strange unaccountable agitation 
came over her. 

Sir Alexander noticed her emotion. 
"You are nervous this morning, Miss 
Lushington," said he, in a low but some- 
what sarcastic tone ; " the church is per- 
haps too hot for you." 

Lucy took no notice of his remark, in- 
deed scarcel}^ heard it, for she was strain- 
ing her ears to catch every word of that 
service to which she had hitherto so care- 
lessly listened, but which came to her 
now with an authority — a power — it never 
had before. 

The communion ser^dce was ended — 
the last psalm was sung — Eustace as- 
cended the pulpit. The colom- deepened 
in Lucy's face when he appeared, and her 
eyes were riveted upon him. The full 
black gown particularly suited the tall 
shght figure and pale countenance of 
Eustace Grrey, for deadly pale he was! 



78 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

and he appeared at first to be labouring 
under strong emotion of some sort, but 
he soon recovered himself after giving out 
his text, which was taken from 2nd Epis- 
tle of St. John, and was as follows : — 

"Love not the world nor the things 
that are in the world. If any man love 
the world, the love of the Father is not in 
him ; for all that is in the world, the lust 
of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and 
the pride of hfe is not of the Tather, but is 
of the world." 

" So !" whispered Sir Alexander to Lucy 
— "now for it ; we are going to get it well 
I suspect ;" but Lucy again made him no 
answer. 

Eustace had written his sermon that pre- 
ceding Saturday-morning, before going to 
Stanhope-street — before his conversation 
with his uncle — before the unlooked for, 
overpowering change in his whole existence 
had burst upon him. It had been written 
at a moment, too, of peculiar depression of 
spirits ; for there are times when, although 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 79 

all the outward circumstances of our lives 
may be the same, yet our trials seem to 
weigh heavier upon us than at others — 
and so it was just then with Eustace. The 
world at that moment had no attractions 
for him ; it offered him little or nothing 
of enjoyment ; the thought therefore that 
it was not to he enjoyed — that all love for 
it was incompatible with the love of Grod, 
was to Eustace a most welcome truth, as 
it seemed to raise his dejection of spirits 
into a positive virtue — a religious principle. 
To renounce the " lusts of the flesh," and 
the " pride of life," was no effort to one 
who, when he looked round on this world, 
and his futui'e prospects in it, beheld 
nothing to care for, nothing to aim at, 
nothing on which he could possibly pride 
himself, nothing to love — nothing at least 
which it was permitted liim to love ! It 
was under the influence of such feelings 
that Eustace had written his sermon, and 
that he had that Saturday afternoon entered 
Mr. Lushington's study. Scarcely two 



80 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

hours had elapsed, and he left it a totally 
altered being ! — totally altered at least 
with regard to his existence in this world ! 
She, whom he had entirely renounced ; 
she, who from principle he even drove from 
his thoughts, and who had in consequence 
become to him almost an unreal being ; — 
she ! Lucy ! was now at once restored to 
him ; actually given to him by her father ! 
That bright dream with which he had been 
visited in the wild, thoughtless days of 
his youth, seemed to be reahsed ! Happi- 
ness ! such happiness as he had not for 
long allowed his mind even to look upon, 
was now on a sudden freely offered him ! 
It was all too much for weak human nature 
to bear. Wlien he left his uncle's door, he 
was so completely bewildered, that he was 
scarcely sensible of any of the objects 
around him. The crowds, the noises in 
the streets, all were unseen, unheard by 
Eustace. He saw everything as through 
a mist ; he hurried on in a sort of dream ; 
and how he found his way home he 



THE OLD GREY CHmCH. 81 

scarcely knew himself. On reaching his 
lodgings he at once rushed upstairs to his 
bedi'oom, and, bolting the door, feU upon 
his knees. 

A considerable time passed before he 
was sufficiently composed to be able to 
tm-n his mind to any occupation ; but the 
evening was now fast passing away, and he 
must read over and finish his sermon for 
the next morning, having, as he had told his 
uncle, promised to assist Mr. Melville, at 
Quebec-street Chapel. That sermon, in- 
tended to rouse others from their worldly 
dreams, was, he now felt, especially ad- 
dressed to himself. But a few hours had 
elapsed since he wrote it, in the full con- 
viction of the truths which his text had 
dictated, and now his own heart was itself 
throbbing in direct opposition to those 
truths — throbbing with one of this world's 
most ungovernable passions ! He actually 
shrank in humiliation from his own words. 
But he would not alter them ; he felt he 
had spoken the truth — the truth of the 

VOL. II. G 



82 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Bible ! that it was God's Holy Spirit which 
had dictated those awful words of warning : 
— "Love not the world, nor the things 
that are in the world ; for all that is in the 
world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of 
the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the 
Father, but is of the world." 

Eustace laid a book on the open, un- 
finished page of his sermon, and turning 
away from the table, sat for long lost in 
thought, his head resting on his hands. 
" But is our heavenly Father a hard-hearted 
tyrant ?" he ejaculated to himself; does He 
desire the misery, and not the happiness 
of his creatures? Hath He created this 
our beautiful world, so full of innocent en- 
joyment, and then does he say, " Taste not, 
touch not, handle not ?" When the Al- 
mighty placed Adam in Paradise, did he 
not himself say, "It is not good for man 
to be alone, I will make an help-meet for 
him ?" Eustace, in his excitement, had 
spoken these words out aloud. He actually 
started as they sounded in his ears. Ne- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 83 

^dlle's form immediately appeared before 
him ; every word of their conversation, 
that day in his room at Oriel College, 
rushed to his memory, again arousing his 
conscience as they did at that moment. 
— *^Is she one fitted," said his friend, 
" to be a help-B*s«*^ndeed ? fitted to help 
you in your work ? Is she in some de- 
gree also moved by the Holy Spirit to 
undertake that work ? Is she, in short, 
a child of Grod." Eustace groaned in spirit ; 
for Lucy now stood before him, as he had 
of late so often seen her, brilliant in all 
her worldly trappings, passing night after 
night in worldly dissipation, and her days 
in frivolity, selfishness, and thoughtless- 
ness ! 

Eustace was alone ; unseen at least by all 
human eyes, and tears of bitter disappoint- 
ment rolled unchecked down his face . Long 
did he commune ^^dth his own heai't — long 
and severe was the inward struggle ! but at 
length he again returned to his place at 
the wTiting-table, he re-read his sermon ; 



84 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

he did not alter a single word of it, and 
at length brought it to a conclusion. 

A sleepless night, of course, followed on 
a day of so much agitation as that Satur- 
day had been to Eustace. Xo wonder, 
therefore, that he was pale and nervous 
next morning, when h*-^«itered the pulpit 
in Quebec-street Chapel; no wonder his 
voice faltered, when in a manner pro- 
nouncing his own sentence, reading his 
own death-warrant, in those words of 
inspiration, " Love not the world, nor the 
things that are in the world. If any one 
love the world, the love of the Father is 
not in him." 

Eustace possibly dwelt with even greater 
force, and enlarged with greater strictness 
of principle, on the words of the text 
than he would have done at another time 
and under other cu'cumstances ; for it 
was partly to himself he was now speak- 
ing; it was himself who he felt needed 
the warning. Most arousing, therefore, 
was his address. The dangers, the tempt- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 85 

ations of the world and its "imavoidable 
contamination, all were set forth in the 
strongest language, and the consequent 
necessity of coming out entirely from it, 
of " not touching the unclean thing." 
The impossibility, in short, of com- 
bining the " service of Grod with the 
service of Mammon." 

Every eye was riveted on the preacher ; 
there was not a sound to be heard. The 
colour had returned to the cheek of 
Eustace ; his eyes were lit up with a fire 
— a spirit — which Lucy had never before 
seen in them. He appeared to her to be 
another being. But his words perhaps 
contained too strong medicine for a mind 
so little prepared as hers then was, for the 
high and exalted views which he had taken 
of a Christian's principle, of a Christian's 
life ; and she could almost have said, like 
Festus of old, "Thou art beside thyself; 
much learning doth make thee mad." 

The sermon was ended, and Eustace 



86 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

clasped his hands together, as his head 
sank down on the cushion of the pulpit. 

" Well, I never heard such a rhodo- 
montade !" exclaimed Su' Alexander, as 
the party left their pew, and followed the 
crowd out of the church. "What good 
can your friend. Miss Lushington, possibly 
think he is doing by all that Methodistical 
rant ? He had much better stick to plain 
matter-of-fact, and tell us not to tell lies, 
and not to pick each other's pockets, or 
cut each other's throats ; in short, some- 
thing tangible, and which one can under- 
stand, and not all this high-floTvna stuff 
and nonsense." 

Lucy made no answer. Before reaching 
the church-door, she had once more turned 
towards the pulpit. Eustace had risen 
from his knees, and as he descended the 
steps, on his way to the vestry, she almost 
fancied he had seen and recognised her ! 

And she was not mistaken. Amid the 
crowd slowly leaving the church, his 
attention had been attracted by an up- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 87 

raised face turned towards liim — a gleam 
of light from one of the windows at that 
moment bringing it out into peculiar 
rehef; he looked again — again the same 
face was before liim. He could not be 
again mistaken ; it must be — it was Lucy ! 
How his heart beat ! with what gratitude 
did it beat ! and how fervent a prayer did 
he raise to heaven that those inspired 
words which he had chosen for his text, 
might be blessed to her soul's benefit ; 
indeed, he almost ventured to hope, that 
it was by an actual interposition of Pro- 
vidence that she had that morning been 
brought to that church, and had there 
heard those truths which he would scarcely 
have had courage to speak directly to 
herself 



88 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 



CHAPTEE V. 

Hope again crept into the soul of Eustace. 
He was in some degree relieved from the 
dreadful weight which had pressed so 
heavily upon his mind ; and, having now 
her father's permission to see and speak to 
Lucy, he determined on going the next 
day to Stanhope-street and endeavouring 
to read her heart. He Avould not tell her — 
at least, not yet — what had passed between 
himself and her father, but try to probe 
her inmost feelings. And oh ! if he 
could but hear one word from her hps, 
calculated to inspire the most distant 
hope, the bare possibihty of her being 
weaned from her worldly friends and 
worldly pursuits, and becoming a help- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 89 

meet for one pledged to the service of his 
God! 

" Well," said Lady Eainsforth to Sir 
Alexander, when they got into the carriage 
to return home — " Well, how did yon like 
it ? He has a beautiful, most touching 
voice, certainly, and looks particularly well 
in the pulpit ; but I can't say it is exactly 
the style of preaching I like ; indeed I 
must confess I did not always quite under- 
stand him ; and then it is so perfectly 
impossible to do what he says — ' To come 
out of the world ;' for how can one help 
being in it ? And, being in it, one must 
do Hke other people. So, begging Mr. 
Grey's pardon, all that is nonsense ! It is 
quite a pity he has got such high-flown 
notions, he is so very pleasing and gentle- 
man-like 1 But I shall take him in hand, 
and try if T cannot make him rather less 
sanctified and Methodistical." 

" II en vaut peu la peine," said Sir 
Alexander, in a contemptuous whisper to 
Lady Eainsforth, for Lucy's abstraction 



90 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

(which still continued) did not at all please 
him, any more than Lady Eainsforth's 
declared intention of taking Eustace in 
hand. "II en vaut peu la peine," he 
repeated ; "he is really not at all worth 
the trouble either of improving or cor- 
rupting." 

"I don't know that," replied Lady 
Eainsforth (still in the same sotto voce). 
" I suspect Mr. Grrey might be made to 
like that poor world he so abuses as well 
as any of us, if it made the agreeable to 
him ; but it is just now a sort of fashion 
among young clergymen to talk in that 
tete exalte way ; so T shall try what I can 
do, for he is certainly very good-looking 
and very eloquent ! But in spite of all 
that," she added, yawning, " I do not 
think that I shall come all the way to 
Quebec-street Chapel again. It is very 
well for once, but it is too far oflP, and such 
a bore routing out so early in the morn- 
ing; one don't know what to do with 
oneself aU the rest of the day, now that 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 91 

there is such a piece of work made by 
your very good people about making visits, 
and taking out one's carriage on a Sunday. 
I conclude, by-the-by, that our party 
to Kensington Gardens this afternoon still 
holds good," cried Lady Eainsforth to 
Lucy, as she deposited her at her door in 
Stanhope-street ; " Lady Emily and M/^ 
Clifford promised to meet us there, you 
know, and the band of the Coldstream 
Guards is to play, and I understand it is 
excellent. So I will call for you at five 
o'clock. Au revoir,'' she added, kissing 
her hand to Lucy. 

Early the follo^ving morning Eustace 
(according to his usual practice) went to 
Guy's Hospital in the Borough, with the 
view of obtaining some medical and sur- 
gical knowledge himself, and in return to 
give some spiritual comfort to the poor 
sufferers within its walls. On his retm-n, 
and on his way to Stanhope-street, where 
he intended being at the usual horn-, he 
stopped at his own lodgings for a paper of 



92 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

his uncle's whicli he had been copjdng for 
him ; and he was just about leaving his 
room again, when the servant of the 
house, throwing open the door, announced 
"a gentleman who wishes to speak to 
you, sir," and I^eville appeared ! The 
friends had not met for some time, and 
pleasure was plainly expressed in Neville's 
countenance. He shook Eustace by the 
hand with even more than his usual 
warmth, inquiring anxiously about his 
health and welfare. 

"You have been very lazy in the 
writing way of late, Grrey," said he. " But 
I have heard of you, and I need not say 
with what pleasure, for I know all you 
are doing, both for yourself and others, and 
I am sure God's blessing will follow on 
your laudable exertions. A little business 
brought me to town," continued Neville, 
" and I could not resist going yesterday to 
hear you preach. I would not tell you 
beforehand of my intention, for fear of 
making you nervous — for I know well one 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 93 

can be made nervous by such things ; but 
now it is over, I must say how much 
gratified I was in every way. And when 
I look back to the beginning of our 
acquaintance, how thankful I am that I 
was employed by a merciful Providence in 
arresting you before it was too late in that 
thoughtless course into which, through 
youth and ignorance, you were becoming 
entangled. I suppose you will now very 
soon take full orders? What are your 
intentions and expectations for the future ? 
By something you said in the letter I had 
from you a few months ago, it seemed to 
me you had some idea of a missionary life. 
Of course you are right to prepare your- 
self for whatever work you may be ap- 
pointed to ; but I must own I should be 
sorry to lose sight of you in India. What 
is become of a living I think you once 
mentioned to me as in the gift of some 
relation of yours ? Is there no chance of 
this or any other employment at home ?" 
Eustace's nerves were scarcely at that 



94 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

minute in a fit state to stand this fresh 
attack upon them, and he made several 
attempts to answer his friend's queries 
before he was able to speak calmly. 
Neville looked at him in evident astonish- 
ment. 

" I was intending/' said Eustace, at 
length, ''to write to you, to tell you 
that — that the li\dng I once spoke to you 
about, and to which you refer — the living 
of Elsmere, which is in the gift of an 
uncle of mine, is now about to be vacated, 
and that he has offered it to me — " 

" Indeed ! why, what a fortunate fellow 
you are !" exclaimed Neville, pleasure 
plainly depicted on his countenance ; " and 
of course you accept ?" 

" I don't know," replied Eustace, in an 
uncertain voice ; " perhaps not. I have 
not yet quite made up my mind — " 

" Not made up your mind ! why ? Are 
there any difiiculties, any objections? Is 
the parish overrun with dissent ? Or do 
you aim at something higher ?" added 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH, 95 

Neville, with even a playful smile upon 
his face. '' Do you aim at stemming the 
torrent of evil in this corrupt city — this 
Babylon ? Are the souls of villagers not 
high enough game for you ? Though I 
must confess I do not think a country 
congregation would be quite equal fully 
to appreciate such a sermon as I heard you 
preach yesterday morning ; it was really 
admirable, and must, I think, have made 
an impression upon even the most worldly 
and thoughtless of your congregation, and 
many of those fashionable ladies and gen- 
tlemen who heard you were, I fear, of that 
description. Now, if such should be your 
view, still I am sure you will let me, as an 
old friend, give you some advice. Do not, 
as yet, turn your thoughts that way. Go to 
the country parish now offered you ; study 
human nature, for it is the same fallen 
human nature which we find in a cottage 
as in a palace, although developing itself in 
different forms and ways ; apply yourself 
to those practical parochial duties which 



96 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

you may perhaps at this moment be almost 
tempted to think are below your talents ; 
they will strengthen your principles and 
your power of self-denial, and the quiet of 
the country will steady your nerves, which 
are, I fear, still of too excitable a nature. 
You understand me, Grrey ? and you see I 
do not ask whether you forgive me for 
still giving you my advice so freely as in 
former days." 

Eustace was for a minute or two silent. 
At last, with averted eyes, he said, " It 
is not all that which is influencing 
me, and making me doubt. Beheve me, I 
have no such worldly ambition and folly. 
The living at Elsmere would be Paradise 
itself to me. I would wish never to enter 
this hated world of fashion and turmoil 
again. It is not anything of all that — 
and you really do me wrong if you suppose 
I could be guilty of such unprincipled 
presumption and vanity. No ; if my heart 
is not as entirely given to the Master I 
ivish to serve as it should be, it is not 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 97 

this world — I mean, it is not such pitiful 
worldly motives as those of ambition and 
vanity which influence me. I almost wish 
it were," Eustace added, with a sigh, " for 
they would be more easy to overcome." 

" Then what is it ?" again eagerly 
inquired Neville, his eyes fixed on the 
agitated countenance of his young friend, 
" and why do you not at once accept your 
uncle's oifer ? What is the living in 
question worth ? for these things must, I 
know, be considered." 

" Oh, only too much — too much !" ex- 
claimed Eustace. 

"Then," again rejoined Neville, " what 
drawbacks can there be to make you doubt 
about accepting it ?" 

"You remember," said Eustace, in a 
low, tremulous voice, "the confession I 
made to you at Oxford above three years 
ago ? I — I love her — love her to madness 
still, and Elsmere is her home !" 

Neville actually started! He said 
nothing, but going up to Eustace, he 

VOL. 11. H 



98 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

grasped his hand, and then in silence 
returned to the seat he had been occupy- 
ing, and for a few minutes seemed lost 
in thought. Neither spoke ; but at length 
Neville, without even looking at his young 
friend, said, "Is she still also in the same 
mind? She is now several years older 
than when you first mentioned this subject 
to me. She was then, I beheve, very 
young ; she is now probably much changed 
in every way." 

Eustace made no answer, but shook 
his head mournfully: then, having ap- 
parently come to some desperate resolution, 
lie turned to Neville. '' Mr. Neville," said 
he, speaking very hurriedly, ' if you will 
have patience to listen to a long story, I 
will tell you all, and you shall advise me, 
and I promise I will follow your advice, as 
far at least as I can — as I am able. I did so 
those three years ago, for I then confessed 
to my uncle having entered into a clan- 
destine engagement with his daughter, 
and I then told her, when parting with 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 99 

her at Eome, that I should do so ; at the 
same time releasing her from her engage- 
ment mth me. But she then would not 
be released — she would not return her 
pledge to me. My confession to her 
father was in writing ; for I had not cou- 
rage to make it 'to him in person, and I 
left my letter in his room, to be found by 
him after my departure . " Eustace heaved 
a deep sigh as all the circumstances of 
that last morning at Eome, rushed to his 
memory. He continued, ''It was some 
time before I received any answer what- 
ever from my uncle, and when I did, he 
seemed to treat my avowal, in short, the 
whole thing, as a mere passing boyish 
folly — a circumstance not even worth tak- 
ing notice of, with regard to his daughter, 
and I have every reason to think he never 
mentioned it to her at all. But never- 
theless in that letter, he in very plain 
terms said I was not any more to con- 
sider Elsmere as my home, (for it had 
been that to me, even from my first 

H 2 



100 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

school-boy days ; in short, I had no 
other/') 

Poor Eustace paused for a moment, for 
his breath seemed to be faihng him. 
Neville made no comment, and he soon 
again resumed— 

" Since that last conversation which I 
had with her at Eome, I have had no 
communication whatever with Lucy, and, 
as I have said, I do not think her father 
has ever in any way alluded to my attach- 
ment to her. He is a person whose mind 
is entirely engrossed by business ; he asso- 
ciates very little even with liis own family; 
they have no habits of intimacy with him, 
and he is so cold and reserved in manner, 
he has never encouraged anything like 
confidence in his children, on the contrary. 
Well, thus passed three years. I studied 
hard at Oxford, as you know, in the hope 
of driving all this out of my head. I 
then went to Ashford ; I worked hard there, 
in order to forget her ; I prayed hard, but 
all to no purpose ! Don't despise me, Mr. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 101 

Neville, for such, weakness, pity me, rather. 
All this time I had no intercourse what- 
ever with my uncle, or any of the family. 
I appeared to be entirely forgotten by 
them aU, until about a month or two before 
I left Ashford, when I received a letter 
from an old friend of my uncle's (and who 
had ever been most kind to me), saying 
that he (my uncle) expressed a wish to see 
me, for he believed I had taken up too 
strongly something he had once written to 
me ! (of course referring to his letter to 
me from Rome.) Whether I should, or 
should not then have availed myself of 
this opening towards a renewal of inter- 
course I know not, but I went, and I saw 
her again, and I returned to Ashford, 
more unsettled — more miserable than ever. 
She to all appearance had entirely for- 
gotten all that I had told her when part- 
ing from her at Rome, with regard to my 
confession to her father. Her manner 
to me was just the same it ever was, ex- 
pressive of the same open, confiding affec- 



102 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 



tion. Yes, affection, I need not blush to 
say ; I cannot doubt her affection — I should 
be most ungrateful if I did ! We passed 
that one evening together, and then, with 
society around us, I could ask her nothing 
— say nothing to her ; but I am convinced 
that her father had never uttered a single 
word to her relative to myself, and I 
almost also think that our last conversa- 
tion together that evening at Rome, had 
left little or no impression upon her mind. 
She was the same as ever to me — no awk- 
wardness, all open affectionate kindness — 
but I cannot give you any idea of the 
bewitching artlessness, the almost child- 
like, innocent simplicity and sincerity of 
her character ! But I am sure I must be 
wearying you. My story, however, will 
now soon be ended. You know that on 
leaving Ashford, I came here to London. 
My principal object in so doing was to 
study oriental languages, with the view of 
quitting England altogether, and endea- 
vouring to forget, in another world, all 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 103 

this first part of my existence. I was 
nearly a month in town, before I even 
ventured to let my uncle know of my 
present residence. But at last I thought 
it my duty to go and inquire after him, 
and I accordingly went to his house. He 
received me very kindly. I found him 
sadly broken ; he has been visited by severe 
family afflictions, lost both his sons, and 
one in a dreadful manner ! It was in 
consequence of the death of one of these 
sons, that the future prospect of the Els- 
mere living was first held out to me, and 
that I in consequence went to Oxford ; 
before that, I was in my uncle's banking- 
house, and acted as his private secretary. 
Circumstances have enabled me just now 
to be of use to him in the same way again, 
by writing for him ; I have of late gone 
to liim every day, for that purpose ; some- 
times seeing Lucy, oftener not, although 
I might have done so constantly, for he 
nearly every day wished me to remain to 
dinner, but I felt the temptation to do so 



104 THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 

to be too strong. My uncle appeared, 
indeed, now in act to have revoked his 
prohibition, with regard to my frequent- 
ing his house, and looking upon it as my 
home. But he had never done so in word^ 
and I felt I could not take advantage of 
his most extraordinary carelessness, (as it 
appeared to me to be.) My aunt, how- 
ever, I must say, kept such vigilant watch 
over both myself and her daughter, she 
fully made up for her husband's want of 
caution ; she never liked me, and her dis- 
like appears to me to increase more and 
more. "Well, last Saturday (only two 
days ago), I went to him as usual. He 
at once, without any preparation whatever, 
informed me that Mr. Woodford (the 
present incumbent of Elsmere), was 
about quitting the living, and that it 
was now mine ! I really cannot attempt 
to describe what I felt at that moment. 
It was some minutes before I recovered 
my senses sufficiently to make him any 
answer whatever, I had so entirely given 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 105 

up all thoughts of Elsmere. I was so 
convinced that all the bright visions, in 
which I had once indulged, were at an 
end for ever, that the possibility of such 
a change in my worldly prospects had 
never once occurred to me. But I am 
thankful to say, hard as was the struggle, I 
was enabled to resist the temptation ; I at 
once refused his kind — his generous offer. 
He appeared much surprised — even dis- 
pleased. I would not, for my own sake 
(indeed for his), let liim think me un- 
grateful. I again confessed the truth to 
him that I could not — should not — that, in 
short, I had not courage to fix myself so 
close to Lucy's home. Thsii principle — 
prudence — everything in short — forbade 
my doing so. I was therefore prepared to 
bid him farewell, for I felt I must not 
continue to expose myself to the trial of 
her presence. I meant, in short, never to 
have seen her again. 

" But before concluding my story, I must 
tell you, I must explain that—" Again, 



106 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

the voice of Eustace became scarcely au- 
dible : lie rose from his seat and walked 
hurriedly up and down the apartment ; but 
at length, commanding himself to the ut- 
most, he resumed : *' At Eome, she fell into 
most pernicious worldly society. I was but 
too well aware of this, when I was there. 
That horrid fashionable society of the 
world, which her mother courted for her ; 
these her former Roman acquaintances have 
introduced her into the same sort of set here 
in London ; she lives, in short, the regular 
life of the world, exposed to all its dangers, 
all its seductions, all its heartless vanities 
and flatteries. Especially, indeed, to the 
last, — for both her brothers being gone, 
and she now the only child of an opulent 
banker, she is courted by all — con- 
sidered, in short, a prize to be won! Such 
is the perilous situation of my dear im- 
oonscious unsuspecting Lucy ! For amid 
all the evil by which she is surrounded 
she is still the same artless, simple-minded 
warm-hearted being she ever was. But I 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 107 

know well that her good qualities are not 
the effects of principle or of religion, but 
merely owing to the beautiful nature be- 
stowed upon her by her Creator, and I 
am fully aware that her heart is now in 
this world : in short, that she is " not a 
child of Godr 

The voice of Eustace again nearly failed 
him. Neville appeared about to speak, but 
he checked him. '' Let me end this painftd 
story at once," said he, " and then I will 
listen to you — I told you, I was about to 
take leave of my uncle, intending never to 
enter his doors again ! never to see her 
again ! when he stopped me — stopped me 
with words which still sound to me as un- 
real as if I had had a feverish dream — been 
in actual delirium ! They were these, for I 
shall never forget them ; they have been 
ringing in my brain ever since I heard 
them : — ' If Lucy really hkes you well 
enough to be willing to give up all her^we 
friends, and all this nonsense and folly of 
\hQjine world, I would not now (for reasons 



108 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

I need not enter into) oppose your wishes 
any longer, circumstances having induced 
me to change my mind on that subject. 
But I suspect she is little fitted now for 
being the wife of a country clergyman, 
whatever she might once have been, or 
fancied herself to be ; in short, in plain 
English, that she will not like it." Yes, 
even Lucy's father — one who, alas ! is, I 
fear, little influenced by religious feehngs 
or principles — even he, amid all his almost 
incomprehensible generous kindness to me 
— even he shows me my duty, even he pro- 
nounces my doom." 

Eustace stopped, burying his face in 
his hands, and for a minute Neville also 
was silent. At length, and as if speaking 
to himself, he exclaimed, "It is indeed all 
most strange ! your uncle's conduct quite 
impossible to account for; especially he 
being, as you describe him, one so devoted 
to this world's interests. It is quite in- 
explicable ! You said he was much changed 
— much affected by his severe family afflic- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 109 

tions — that he was much broken ; do you 
think his mind is at all affected ?" 

" No, not in the least ; it is as clear on 
all matters of business and calculation as 
ever." 

" Well, my dear young friend," said Ne- 
ville, "the only consolation is, that there 
is but one straight path of duty before 
you, and that you know that ' strait and 
narrow way.' No one who spoke the 
words I heard you speak yesterday can 
plead ignorance of their duty. I pray to 
heaven ^^^ou may have strength to act up 
to it. But what do you mean at present 
to do ? Have you seen her since the con- 
versation you had with her father ?" 

''No, I have not, since we parted at 
Eome, ever seen her even, except occasion- 
ally fourth at dinner with her father and 
mother. What her feelings, her senti- 
ments, with regard to myself or her own 
future prospects, either in this world or the 
next, may be, I know not. But I now am 
at liberty to see her — to speak to her. I 



110 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

have at least her father s permission. I 
shall endeavour to read her heart — that 
heart once so simple, so open to me. Per- 
haps it is not yet too late, that I may yet 
reclaim her from her present life of thought- 
less frivolity and worldliness ; if not, Grod 
help me !" exclaimed Eustace, clasping his 
hands to gether, "for I know not what 
will become of me." 

" * Man is born to trouble as the sparks 
fly upwards,' " said Neville, with much so- 
lemnity of tone and manner. " None who 
have not borne the cross can obtain the 
crown." And then, pressing the hand of 
Eustace, " Farewell, for the present, for I 
can be of no use to you now, I fear. I 
will see you again in a few days, for I am 
staying just now with my friend Johnson 
at Brompton, within reach at any time 
you may want me. You cannot doubt 
my willingness to serve you in any way 
in my power; you cannot either doubt 
my earnest prayers in your behalf, nor do 
/ doubt your principles or your inten- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. Ill 

tions, though perhaps I may sometimes 
doubt your strength to act up to them ; 
in short (though I fear you wiU think me 
cruel for saying so), I almost hope, for 
your sake, that your cousin's affections are 
too decidedly fixed upon this world and its 
pleasures for her to consent on at once 
giving up all for you." 



112 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 



CHAPTER YI. 

An hour or two after the friends had 
parted, and at the usual time, Eustace 
again knocked at his uncle's study door, 
and was, as usual, immediately admitted. 
" I counted upon you to-day'' said he, 
with a kind smile ; " there is but one let- 
ter I particularly wish you to write for 
me, and then I will release you; for of 
course you are impatient to see Lucy. 
But, first, I must tell you that I have 
opened the matter about which we spoke 
yesterday to Mrs. Lushington, and I fear 
I have no good news for you in that quar- 
ter. I believe 1 informed her of my plans 
rather too abruptly, and I suspect it will be 
no easy matter to obtain her consent ; but 
if you have Lucy's, that is the chief point. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 113 

and with, that you will readily, I dare say, 
make up your mind to a little displeasure 
— indeed, not to mince the matter, possibly 
to actual incivility/ — from Lucy's mother. 
But faint heart, you know, never won fair 
lady. So now sit down and write that 
letter for me ; there it is already prepared 
for you, and after that you shall go." 

The letter was written, looked over, ap- 
proved of, sealed, and directed. "Well, 
now 3'ou may go up-stairs to yom- 'fair 
lady,' Lucy, for I know her mother is out, 
so the coast is clear." 

''You have not spoken to her, sir?" 
said Eustace, in evident alarm. "You 
have not told her ?" 

" IS'o, no, I have said nothing to her ; 
don't be alarmed ; I leave it to you to tell 
your own story. And as for Mrs. Lush- 
ington, there is no fear but that she will 
be silent enough on the subject. Indeed, 
I should not be sm'prised," added Mr. 
Lushington, actually laughing, " if she 
took out a statute of lunacy against me 

VOL. IT. 1 



114 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

for I plainly see she thinks I have lost 
my senses. But my senses, thank hea- 
ven, are quite safe in my own keeping ; I 
wish with all my heart hers were as much 
so, and that her calculations were as wise 
as mine, that she was as well aware as I 

am that But no matter. Well, are you 

not going up to the drawing-room? I 
really beheve you are afraid of Lucy. 
Come, I wiU chaperon you." And so 
saying, Mr. Lushington at once left his 
study, and taking hold of his nephew's 
arm, he proceeded up-stairs. " Here is 
Eustace,'' said he, as he opened the draw- 
ing-room door, " come to pay you a visit, 
Lucy, and he was so afraid of finding all 
youi' fine friends with you he would not 
venture up alone." 

" What, Eustace !" exclaimed Lucy, as 
she hastened up to him mth her usual 
beaming smile of welcome ; "a visit from 
you is reaUy quite a wonderful event 
now." 

'' I have released him earlier than usual 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 115 

to-day/' said Mr. Lusliington ; " and I 
have been scolding liim for making liimself 
so scarce. Of course you dine with us to- 
day, Eustace?" And with these words, 
without even waiting for an answer, Mr. 
Lushington left the room. 

" I don't know how it is," said Lucy, 
as her eyes followed her father to the 
door, " but somehow you always seem to 
do papa so much good. I don't know 
when I have seen him look so little mi- 
serable as just now. What have you been 
saying to him, or doing for him ?" 

" I have only been writing one of his 
many business letters," Eustace replied, 
evading her question. 

" Well, I wonder how a business letter 
can put any one in spirits ; and reaUy poor 
papa looked just now quite happi/, and it 
is so seldom now he does look happy," she 
added, vdth. a sigh ; and then tm'ning to- 
wards Eustace — " But let me see how you 
look, for I am sure you were not weU yes- 
terday ; for / saw 7/ou yesterday, Eustace, 

I 2 



116 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

though you did not see me," she added, 
with a bright smile ; " and I am sure 
something had discomposed you and made 
you nervous. You may wonder how I 
know this, but I was at your church, and 
I heard you preach !" Some thought to 
which she did not give utterance seemed 
at that moment to have suddenly crossed 
the mind of Lucy, bringing a deeper co- 
lour into her cheek; but she continued, 
" I went with Lady Eainsforth, who was 
quite bent on hearing you ; she says you 
have such a musical voice, and that you 
are so eloquent, and I don't know what 
all. And I suppose she is right, for I 
certainly never thought that communion 
service so beautiful and impressive before, 
as when I heard you read it yesterday. But 
come, sit down here, and let us have a little 
quiet talk, as in old Elsmere days ; for we 
never have now ; I never see you ; and I 
want to ask you some questions about 
your sermon." 

On Mr. LusHngton leaving the room 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 117 

Lucy liad returned to the seat wliicli she 
had before occupied by a table covered 
with circulating library novels, and all 
those undescribable useless odds and ends 
now indispensable on a fashionable draw- 
ing-room table. Immediately before her 
lay what appeared to be a Testament, and 
which, small as it was, immediately caught 
the eye of Eustace. She observed this. 
" Oh, I see," said she, '' what you are 
looking at. Yes, it is a Testament (some- 
thing in your way), and I have been 
hunting in it for your yesterday's text. 
I wrote it down directly on the leaf of my 
Prayer-book to be sure not to forget it, 
and where it was taken from, for I wanted 
to try and detect you." 

" Detect me !" said Eustace, smiHng ; 
" what do you mean ?" 

" I wanted to see whether you quoted 
fairly, and I can't but confess you did 
as to your text; but there was some- 
thing else you said about ' coming out,' 
and ' keeping separate,' which I wanted 



118 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

to find too (for I must own I can't help 
thinking there must have been a little 
cheating there), but where these words 
are I am sure I have not an idea." And 
she tm-ned hurriedly over the leaves of 
the Testament, backwards and forwards, 
from Matthew to Eevelation, plainly 
showing she had not (as she said) the 
smallest notion where the text she was 
looking for could possibly be. 

" Grive me the book," said Eustace, 
holding out his hand for it, "and I wiU 
prove to you I was quite honest, quite cor- 
rect, in my quotation." 

It was a very small ISTew Testament, 
and had evidently been very rarely opened, 
for its bright gilt-edged leaves stuck toge- 
ther. 

" There," said Eustace, replacing the 
book before Lucy, and keeping his hand on 
the open page as he pointed to the verse. 
"These are the words which I suppose 
you allude to." 

His hand was like those slim pale aris- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 119 

iocratic hands Vandyke used to paint, and 
upon it was a ring, whicli Lucy imme- 
diately recognised, for it liad once been 
her own. It was that ring which he had 
taken from her hand when he had given 
her the small fr^etted gold one in exchange. 
A cloud seemed instantly to gather over 
Lucy's countenance, and, lost in thought, 
she continued with her eyes fixed upon 
the ring, taking no notice whatever of 
what Eustace had said, or to what his 
hand was pointing. Surprised at her 
silence, he at length looked up in her 
face ; tears were in her eyes, even on her 
cheeks ; not ha\TJig observed what had 
attracted her notice, he had no idea what 
could possibly have occasioned her sudden 
emotion, but a vague feeling which he 
could scarcely himself account for or de- 
fine, checked his inquiring into its cause. 
They sat thus for a minute or two in 
silence, until Eustace, thinking that Lucy 
had recovered her composure, said, '' There 
is the verse to which you allude, I believe.'' 



120 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Thus addressed, Lucy turned lier eyes 
vacantly on the page, but it was evident 
she had entirely forgotten what it was of 
which she wanted an explanation, and in 
an absent tone, she said, '^ Well, what was 
it you were saying ?" 

" It was you, I think, who wanted to 
ask a question of me," replied Eustace. 

" Oh, yes, now I remember !" and Lucy 
again stooped over the book. "Yes, I 
see you were right in your quotation ; but 
I want to have an explanation of those 
words." 

And Lucy, having apparently now at 
last recalled her thoughts to the subject, 
read the verse, — " ' Come out from among 
them, and be ye separate and touch not 
the unclean thing/ Now what is it that 
you say one is to come out from?'' asked 
Lucy, " and what is this unclean thing 
one is not to touch V 

" Shall I tell you, Lucy ?" inquired 
Eustace ; " shall I tell you quite truly, 
quite honestly ?" 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 121 

She gave him a consenting smile. 

" And you wiU not be angiy with me ?" 

" I hope not ;" said she, " at any rate, I 
am sm-e I should not, for I am certain 
you never mean to. say anything to make 
me angry — anything unkind." 

" Unkind !" exclaimed Eustace, suddenly 
grasping her hand, which still lay upon 
the open page of the Testament. " Oh, 
Lucy, if you could but read my heart ! 
see the devoted, doating affection which — " 
He stopped abruptly, but in a minute 
overcoming his emotion, " Well, but 1 
must answer your question. I mean by 
that thing you are to come out from, the 
world in short, from wliich the word of 
God bids us separate om'selves ; that world 
of the world, Lucy, in which you now 
live, that hfe of thoughtless dissipation, 
frivohty, uselessness, and selfishness into 
which you have been drawn by those with 
whom you now associate. Whoso leads 
such a hfe, runs the fearful risk of being 
contaminated by toucliing 'the unclean 



122 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

thing ;' and such a life is ' enmity with 
God/ because it is in direct opposition to 
his revealed will." 

Eustace stopped, gazing with painful 
anxiety on Lucy's countenance. She did 
not immediately reply, but at length, 
with averted eyes, said, " Indeed, Eustace, 
I must say your explanation is if anything 
still more difficult to understand than the 
verse itself, for I really comprehend even 
less than I did before what I am to do 
or not to do ; I do only what others do, 
and go where others go, and no one seems 
to think all that wrong except yourself." 

" No ! no one else ?" asked Eustace ; 
" whose words are these which I have just 
read? Who is it tells us to come out 
from this world — from its temptations,- its 
corruptions, and its evil example ? Is it 
not God himself ? We cannot surely have 
higher authority than His ; and He bids us 
do so, because the love of such things is 
incompatible mth the love — the devotion 
of heart and life — which we owe to Him." 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 123 

" Well, I must say," said Lucy, with a 
sigli, " I cannot but still think most 
people do not see all this in the awful 
gloomy light you do ! But I know weU 
how it is. It is that Oxford friend who 
has put all these methodistical notions into 
your head. I was quite certain how it 
would be from the very first of your ac- 
quaintance with him ; he has been a cruel 
friend to — to us both, for he has quite 
separated us, and I plainly see that owing 
to him, and his unfortunate influence 
over you, you now condemn eYer3i:hing 
I do or say." 

On uttering these words, Lucy clasped 
her hands before her face, her head fell on 
the table before her and she burst into 
tears. 

" Lucy, Lucy dearest, don't say such 
things !" cried Eustace, rushing to her side ; 
" you will break my heart. Oh no ! that 
friend you talk of will never, believe me, 
have any influence over me but for good — 
for your good ; it is not he that will sepa- 



124 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

rate us, on the contrary, lie wiU be the 
means I trust of uniting us for ever — 
even in eternity. Forgive me, Lucy, if I 
have spoken too strongly — too plainly. 
But you know you told me to speak the 
truth — the whole truth. And indeed, 
indeed, there is nothing to frighten you 
in this truth 1 Nothing. It is only that 
you do not yet quite understand it aU ; 
hut you will, I know you will, and then 
you will see it all as I do, I am sure you 
will. Lift up your head, Lucy ; look at 
me ; teU me you are not angry with me, 
for I really cannot bear that !" 

Lucy, although mth her face still 
concealed, held out her hand to him ; he 
eagerly again and again pressed it to his 
hps. " We must not quarrel, Lucy ; it is 
so many years that we have been friends. 
Oh ! let me have one kind smile from my 
dear, dear playfellow of former days ; look 
at me, Lucy !" She did not immediately 
reply, but by degrees she overcame her 
agitation, and wiping away the tears from 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 125 

her face, " I believe," said she, with one 
of her sweetest smiles, " this is the very 
first quarrel we have ever had, Eustace." 

" Grod grant it may be the last !" he 
fervently exclaimed, as again he clasped 
her hand in his. 

" I dare say I was in the wrong," added 
Lucy, " for you, Eustace, are too good ever 
to be in the ^vrong ; but really it is so 
difficult — so impossible, I may say — for me 
in any way to lead a different hfe from 
what I do ; besides (I must confess) not 
very weU understanding in what you 
would have me change, or what it is I can 
do that would be better. I must, you 
know, do what mamma wishes me to do, 
and go where she wishes me to go, and all 
are so kind to me — so anxious to amuse me, 
I cannot refuse what is proposed to me !" 

Eustace said nothing, but sighed deeply. 

" Give me my little Testament," said 
she, as she held out her hand for it, " for 
I want to mark the verses you quoted, 
and I do not wish to leave the book on 



126 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

the table, for mamma would be quite 
frightened if she saw it, terrified lest I 
too should be growing too good ! Tou 
have no fear of that, Eustace, I believe ;" 
and once more one of her innocent smiles 
stole over her features. "So odd," she 
added, " how differently people think about 
right and wrong !" 

" There is but one time rule for that," 
said Eustace ; " you will find it there in 
that little book in your hand :" and again 
poor Eustace sighed deeply, well aware of 
all the dangers and difficulties of his dear 
Lucy's situation. 

They remained some time both silent — 
he, although quite unconscious of what 
he was doing, absently taking up one after 
another the different books which lay on 
the table before him, and again laying 
them down ignorant even of their titles. 

" Will you," he at last said, " let me send 
you a book, Lucy? and will you read 
it?" 

" Oh jes, certainly," said she, " when I 



THE OLD GREY CHrECH. 127 

have time, but I dare say it will not be 
one to run througli in balf-an-hour like 
these novels, and somehow I have so Httle 
time ; there is always so much to do, or 
somewhere to go to, and such endless 
notes to write for mamma, aod so many 
visits and visitors ! And next week we 
(that is mamma and I) are going with 
Lady Emily to Lord Peterborough's, near 
Windsor, for Ascot races." 

Poor Eustace actually started. Lord 
Peterborough was father to the Mr. Clif- 
ford, whom Xed Watson had named among 
Lucy's admirers ! '' Xext week to As- 
cot I" he repeated in a melancholy de- 
sponding tone. 

" Oh, I suppose by your look," said 
Lucy, "that this, too, is another of the 
' unclean TNTong things of this wicked 
world, one is not to touch 1 though I 
must o^m I cannot see how one can pos- 
sibly be doing an ' unclean thing' " (and 
Lucy could not help laughing, as she 
laid a stress on the word), ''when sitting. 



128 THE OLll GREY CHURCH. 

in a fine day, in an open carriage, smell- 
ing tlie delightful perfume of the freshly- 
bruised turf, and looking at the beautiful 
race-horses galloping about; though I 
must o^\Ti it goes to my heart, seeing the 
poor animals so cruelly used; and I do 
not quite like it when it comes to the last 
horrid whipping and spurring, for I then 
cannot help thinking of our old ponies at 
Elsmere, and how I should hate to see 
them so barbarously flogged." 

'* Oh, it is not the horses alone one 
may feel for at those races," said Eustace; 
"it is the human beings — the immortal 
souls there collected. There is, I believe, 
more wickedness congregated in the small 
space of a race-ground than in a whole 
county! Lying, cheating, swearing, gam- 
bling, di'inking, fighting ! Oh, it is fear- 
ful to think of it ! In short, a race-ground 
is, I am sure, the devil's o^vn play-ground," 
added Eustace, in an excited, angry tone, 
very unusual to him, " and, therefore, no 
safe place for Christians." 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 129 

''But if everything is so very wrongs 
what, in the world, is one to do with 
oneself and one's time ?'* inquired Lucy ; 
" and where would be the good of sitting 
all day, and every day stupid, by oneself 
at home, doing nothing? and^ here in 
London, there is really nothing whatever 
to be done but to amuse oneself." 

*' T allow," said Eustace, " it is more 
difficult in London ; but still some per- 
sons do contrive it. Even with my ver}^ 
little acquaintance with this town, I know 
of many situated much as you are, Lucy. 
Young happy people, who yet manage to 
lead useful Christian-like lives, even in 
London — interesting themselves about 
various charities and schools, seeking out 
and visiting the poor and the sick, and 
even attending at the hospitals !" 

" But where are these poor sick people 
you talk of?" inquired Lucy; "I am 
sure I never see or hear of any, except 
the common beggars in the streets, and 
they are all, I am told, wicked impos- 

VOL. II. K 



'130 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

tors, to whom one should never give a 
farthing." 

" Oh ! real objects of charity are easy to 
be found," continued Eustace; "but too 
easily ! but do you ever seek for them ? 
Do you ever try to find them ? I will, 
however, allow it is much more difficult to 
do all this in London than in the country." 

'' But surely," said Lucy, with a sigh, 
" all these occupations may be very right 
and proper; but such a life, as you seem 
to wish me to lead, without any variety 
or amusement whatever, nothing but 
goodness, goodness, goodness, morning, 
noon, and night, would be veri/ dull and 
tiresome." 

'' Were you dull formerly at Elsmere, 
Lucy," he inquired ; '' you had no balls or 
plays or operas there ?" 

''Oh, I was then but a mere child! I 
could not now^ I fear^ pass hour after 
hour, labouring in my garden as we used 
to do then, or be quite happy galloping 
the old ponies round the field ! I suspect 



THE OLD GUEY CHURCH. ] 31 

that, even you, Eustace, would not now 
be content with only that sort of thing." 

The heart of Eustace sunk witliin him- 
The mention of the garden and ponies at 
Elsmere had awakened such a host of 
recollections in his mind, ending in the 
old grey church and churchyard ! that he 
felt totally unable to say another word; 
and for some time both were silent. At 
length, Eustace, rousing himself from his 
abstraction, said, " Your father (you heard) 
asked me to stay to dinner here to-day ; 
will you like me to do so, or had you 
rather I did not ?" 

** I rather you did not dine here !" re- 
peated Lucy ; " what can you mean ? 
what can have put that into your head ? 
So much the contrary from not liking you 
to be here, I am always so thankful when 
you are ! for you somehow rouse papa, so 
that he is quite a different person from 
what he is at other times; but he has 
certainly been altogether better these last 
few days ; don't you think so ? and he likes 



132 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

you, Eustace. I am sure he does ; he 
likes having you with him. Indeed, I 
really think he is much more fond of you 
than any one else ; certainly much more 
so than of me; but I am quite willing it 
should be so — I am not jealous; and I 
am sure I do not wonder at it ;" and Lucy 
looked at him with an expression that 
made his heart beat. "There is some- 
thing the matter with mamma to-day," 
Lucy continued ; "1 cannot imagine what 
it is ! She looks as if she had been crying, 
and is so absent and out of sorts. I do 
not think she spoke two words at breakfast 
this morning ; so I am sure you wall be a 
blessing to us aU. But, pray, don't say 
anything about the ivickedness of Ascot 
races. You would not be understood, 
(indeed T must say, I don't understand 
you myself) ; and you would only make 
mamma angry." 

At this moment the door opened, and 
Mr. and Mrs. Lushington came in to- 
gether. Eustace immediately went for- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 133 

ward to meet liis amit, preparing to sliake 
hands with her; but he soon perceived 
that such familiarity was out of the ques- 
tion, for making him merely a dignified 
inclination of the head, she hurried past 
him to a door at the other end of the 
room, bidding Lucy follow her. The 
uncle and nephew were thus left together. 
" That is certainly not encouraglnrj ',' 
said Mr. Lushington, with an angry 
frown on his brow ; " but never mind, I 
am determined to have my own way, 
for once. I know quite well what I am 
about, though Mrs. Lushington does not. 
By-the-by, Eustace, must you be in full 
priest's orders before you can take posses- 
sion of your living — before you can be in- 
ducted, according to the technical phrase, I 
believe ? for I know nothing about all your 
forms and ceremonies. I believe Mr. Wood- 
ford will vacate Elsmere almost imme- 
diately, and as there may be some necessary 
regulation to attend to, we must not lose 
time. What are these preliminary forms ?" 



134 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

'' I don't know," was all Eustace said 
in reply, in an absent tone and manner. 

"Well, inquire," rejoined Mr. Lush- 
ington, somewhat hastily, " for you must 
have a home before you have a wife." 

Mr. Lushington seemed at that moment 
to be in an unusually excited state of 
spirits, one altogether not in unison with 
those of Eustace, and the words of home 
and wife had grated painfully on his 
ear. 

" My dear uncle," said he at length, in 
a slow tremulous voice, "I don't know 
what to say to you for all your kindness 
to me." 

" Nothing — nothing !" replied Mr. 
Lushington, hurriedly, and in rather a 
fretful tone. Eustace knew his uncle too 
well to venture further ; indeed his own 
mind was at that moment in too perturbed 
a state even to know what his feehngs 
were, still less to be able to express them ; 
but after a minute he added, *' You kindly 
asked me to dine with you to-day, but 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 135 

perhaps I had better not — I see my 
aunt is — '' and Eustace stopped short. 

" I insist upon your dining here, 
Eustace," said Mr. Lushington, his face 
reddening with anger; "surely I am 
master in my own house, and may invite 
whom I please to it;" and then, in a 
calmer tone, he after a minute added, '' I 
saw Watson when I was out, and told 
him he must come, so that will all do 
very weU." 

Notwithstanding Mr. Watson's help it 
was, however, stiU a most wretched family 
party. Mrs. Lushington never uttered a 
word ; and Eustace, who sat by her, had 
not corn-age to brave her evident dis- 
pleasure by venturing to address her. 
Lucy, too, was silent ; so that what little 
conversation did take place was merely 
between Mr. Lushington and his old 
friend. Luckily, politics and the news of 
the day always famish topics for men to 
talk about; and one subject leading to 
another, Mr. Lushington inquired into 



136 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

the state of crime in the city, " Have you 
had much work in that way lately," said 
he, "or do morals amend ? You expected 
much from the late bill respecting the 
sale of spirits — do you think it answers ?" 

" Yes, I really hope it does," said Mr. 
Watson ; " there are at least fewer un- 
fortunate wives who have their brains 
knocked out by their husbands." 

" WeU, that is one point gained," re- 
pHed Mr. Lushington ; " but wives should 
try and make their homes more agreeable 
to their husbands, and then, perhaps, they 
would not go so much to the alehouse. 
Yours must be a horrid disagreeable life I 
think 1" continued Mr. Lushington after 
a pause ; " nothing but crime and cruelty 
constantly before you." 

" True — yes — but one gets hardened to 
it — too much so perhaps ; for the constant 
familiarity with such tremendous crimes 
as are almost daily brought before me 
makes me, I fear, think too Hghtly of 
those not a<3tually affecting human life — 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 137 

perjury, theft, and even forgery — all bad 
enough God knows ! — I believe there is 
some idea of commuting the punishment 
now inflicted for this last offence to 
transportation instead of death ; and, 
atrocious as it is, I am for this alteration 
of our law. "We know that ' Whoso sheds 
man's blood, by inan may his blood be 
shed/ (for we have the highest authority 
for that,) but I think the forfeit of life 
should be paid only when life is destroyed : 
in no other case does the revealed will of 
God sanction our assuming his Divine 
prerogative ; although, of course, in this 
our mercantile country it is pecuHarly 
necessary that the law should be very 
stringent on this point for the security of 
property and society at large ; for certainly 
it must be confessed, after all, that forgery 
is neither more nor less than wholesale 
thieving." 

Mr. Lushington made no comment on 
this observation : he had apparently fallen 
into one of his usual fits of abstraction, so 



138 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

that there was for some time a total 
silence. It was at length broken by 
Mr. Watson, who suddenly addressed Mr. 
Lushington with, "Oh, by-the-by,my good 
friend, I must congratulate you on at last 
getting rid of Mr. Woodford, for I hear 
he has obtained some better preferment, 
and is about to vacate your church at 
Elsmere ; that is excellent news for us all/' 
and Mr. Watson looked exultingly towards 
Eustace. 

But the eyes of Eustace were averted, 
and although the deepened colour in his 
cheek showed plainly that he had heard 
Mr. Watson s words, he took no notice of 
them. His uncle said something in reply, 
but what Eustace knew not, for he had 
caught a glimpse of Lucy's face. It was 
as pale as death ! 

When, dinner being over, his uncle and 
Mr. Watson prepared to go up to the 
drawing-room for coffee, Eustace, suddenly 
pleading some vague engagement, in an 
odd, hurried manner wished them both 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 139 

good night, and immediately left the 
house. 

'' Grrej," said Mr. Watson, calling after 
him as he hurried into the hall, " stop, 
stop, if you will wait half-an-hour I will 
take you home." But Eustace was gone ! 

Never perhaps had his mi^d been in so 
distracted a state, never had he felt so 
dissatisfied with himself; never, in short, 
so miserable, as during liis walk home 
that evening. He was aware that his 
feehngs, in other words, his passions, were 
scarcely under his control. He could not 
but be sensible how little hope there was 
for him for the future, and yet he had not 
courage to put an end to these torturing 
doubts and inward struggles by at once 
renouncing all those delightful dreams of 
earthly happiness which had for a moment 
again visited his soul, but which he now 
saw were again fast fading away ; and if 
these struggles had been hard to endure 
when he was absent from Lucy at Oxford 
and at Ashford, how much more so now, 



140 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

when so constantly exposed to the seduc- 
tions of her society, when daily beholding 
her beaming smile, when hearing her 
beloved voice — a voice which ever went 
straight to his inmost soul, a smile which 
made his heart dance with joy ! and now, 
in addition to all this, tantahzed by her 
father's full sanction to his attachment! 

It was rather later than usual the next 
afternoon when Eustace reached Stanhope- 
street; for he had been detained at the 
Missionary Society's office, and he had 
also, in his way, stopped at Hatchard's to 
purchase the book that he had told Lucy 
he was going to give her. The book was 
" Wilberforce's Practical Christianity." 
On opening his uncle's study door, Eus- 
tace was startled on seeing Lucy in his 
usual place at the writing-table. 

" You are rather late this morning," 
said his uncle, who was lying back in an ^ 

arm-chair, looking particularly ill and 4i&- d^bi^^ 
trcoocd^ " I have such a desperate bad 
headache, I found I could not write a 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 141 

word, SO I have pressed Lucy into my 
service, for I began to give you up. What 
have you been doing?" Eustace made 
some sort of vague excuse for his absence. 
" Oh, but Lucy, you need not go away," 
added Mr. Lushington, on seeing she was 
about to leave the room ; " perhaps I may 
have a job for you too ; and considering 
how seldom you do anything that is useful, 
you have acquitted yourself very tolerably 
well." 

Lucy's eyes filled with tears ; she looked 
ill as well as her father, and had evidently 
been crying. " Shall I finish the letter 
I was copying for you yesterday, sir ?" 
inquired Eustace. 

" Ay, do," replied his uncle, " and that 
will give me time to think what else I 
have for you to do, for my head is not 
very clear to-day." And Mr. Lushington 
passed his hand over his forehead in evi- 
dent^ suffering. Before long a note was 
brought to him by one of the banking- 
house clerks, by whom he was to send 



142 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

back some papers. He went out of the 
room for some minutes to speak to the 
man, and Lucy and Eustace were in con- 
sequence left together. He immediately 
drew from out of the breast of his coat 
the volume he had brought for her, and 
writing in it her name, and below, " From 
her old playfellow," he put the book into 
her hand. " That is what I spoke to you 
about yesterday," said he ; " perhaps when 
you have leisure you will read it ; but it 
is not, as you said, a book to run ' through 
like a novel ;' you must give your mind 
to it." 

Lucy took the book, and holding out 
her hand to Eustace, while one of her 
irresistible smiles lit up her face, " I am 
sure I shall like to read this," said she, 
" and I shall fancy it is you who are giv- 
ing me all the good advice which I dare 
say it contains, and which I have no 
doubt I require. And I will fancy I hear 
you reading it to me, as you read the 
communion service, and then I am sure 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 143 

my thouglits T\dll not wander away to 
trifles, as I mnst ow^n they are but too apt 
to do." Then, after a minute, suddenly 
looking up in his face, "How very early 
you disappeared yesterday evening ! I 
was not aware you w^ere going away, at 
least not so soon ; and I w^as so sorry, for 
I think papa needed you to clieer him 
even more than ever." 

'' I could not stay," was all Eustace said 
in reply. 

"I hope you will dine here to-day. 
Papa seems so unwell, you may be of use 
to him." Eustace made no answer, and 
Mr. Lusliington at that moment re-enter- 
ing the room, nothing more passed be- 
tween them. 

Eustace did not appear at dinner-time, 
nor the next day, nor for several days fol- 
lowing. On the Sunda}' he again preached 
at Quebec-street Chapel, but Lady Eains- 
forth, though still raving of the beauty of 
his voice, and still determined on " un- 
sanctifying him," could not exert herself 



144 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

again to go so far at so early an hour ; 
and in vain Eustace cast his eyes down on 
the crowd as it poured out of the church 
at the conclusion of the service — there was 
no upraised face on which the sun from 
the painted window gleamed. Lucy was 
not there. 



THE OLD GREY CHL'RCH. 145 



CHAPTEE YII. 

The next week, according to the pre- 
arrangement, Mrs. Lushington and Lucy 
accompanied Lady Emily Maxwell to her 
uncle's, near Windsor, and they did not 
come back to town until the following 
Saturday, when Mrs. Lushington retm-ned 
with so severe a feverish cold, she was 
obliged to call in medical advice, and was 
ordered iromediatelv to her bed. 

This long-planned \dsit to Lord Peter- 
borough's proved a complete failm-e ; so 
far, at least, as regarded its primary ob- 
ject, namely the furtherance of Mrs. Lush- 
ington's and Lady Emily's schemes respect- 
ing Lucy and her cousin, ^h. Clifford. 

That pretty Mrs. Vernon, whom Lady 
Emily named as the only possible obstacle 

VOL. II. L 



146 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

in the way of tlieir matrimonial schemes, 
happened at that moment to be at Windsor 
(Captain Yernon's regiment being then 
quartered there), and it was very evident 
that the attraction of her beanty was far 
greater than even that of Lucy's supposed 
wealth (albeit both father and son were 
pecuharly in want of cash at that mo- 
ment). In short, Mrs. Lushington re- 
turned home mortified and disappointed 
in all her hopes and plans, and conse- 
quently in no very good humom\ As for 
Lucy, she had excessively enjoyed the 
novelty of the scene, the races, and the 
gay company, thinking very little about 
Mr. Clifford, and it is to be feared, very 
little also about what Eustace had said on 
the subject of race-courses ; having, in 
short, been much amused and interested 
by the exciting scene, and in the beautiful 
horse on which she had betted. 

On the Monday after their return, Mr. 
Lushington again pressed Eustace to stay 
dinner ; Mrs. Lushington being still con- 



THE OLD GREY CHmCH. 147 

fined to her room, he could not resist the 
strong temptation, and the trio accord- 
ingly sat down together. 

Mr. Lushington was in one of his very 
best humours ; Lucy looked bright and 
at her ease (carefully, however, avoiding 
all allusion to the races or the society she 
had been in), and even Eustace could not, 
for the moment, resist the contagion of her 
happy spirits and gay innocent laugh, and 
he was almost the Eustace of former days. 
She had not left the dinino^-room manv 
minutes before Mr. Lushington rose from 
his seat, sapng, " I really don't see any 
use in you and I, Eustace, sitting here in 
form before these bottles of wine, of which 
we neither of us partake, so let us go up- 
stairs to Lucy and coffee." 

Poor Eustace but too readily agreed to 
prolong the hour of intoxicating happiness 
which he then enjoyed, and banishing for 
the moment the future from his mind. 
Mr. Lushington did not remain long in 
the drawing-room — he never did — and 

L .2 



148 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Lucy and Eustace were accordingly left 
together. 

"How well and cheerful dear papa 
seems this evening !" said she ; " and it is 
such a pleasure to see him in good spirits. 
It is all your doing, Eustace. You really 
should try and dine here oftener. Why 
don't you ? You have no idea how dull 
we are without you. Where do you go 
to ? not to Ned Watson's dear Adelphi, I 
suppose. So what do you do with your- 
self of an evening ?" 

" I have to read and improve my mind, 
you know," said he ; " and I spend so 
much of the mornings now here with your 
father, I have to make up for lost time of 
an evening." 

" Surely your mind must he pretty nearly 
perfect hy this time," said Lucy, laughing ; 
"and what is it you are always reading 
ahout ? I wish I liked reading better 
than I am sorry to say I do," she con- 
tinued, " for I am quite aware how dread- 
fully ignorant I am about almost every- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 149 

tiling ; and I wish, for papa's sake, that 
was not the case, that I might be a 
pleasant companion to him as 3"on are ; 
for he seems to like so much talking with 
you about sensible things — he says no one 
is so well informed as you are. But it is 
so impossible to me to ^x. my mind and 
thoughts when I try to read, for they fly 
off I don't know where, even before I am 
aware. I suppose yom' thoughts never do 
such naughty things, Eustace ?" 

" Oh, I suspect," said he, fixing his 
eyes upon her face, " that my confessions 
on that head might be fully as disgraceful 
as yours, if not more so." 

" Of course !" continued Lucy. '' I 
have not yet had time to read your good 
book, Eustace ; but now that mamma is 
confined to her room, and that there will 
be no going here and there, I shaU have 
more leism-e, and I shall set seriously to 
work at it. I should have liked so much 
to have heard you preach again yesterday, 
but Lady Eainsforth sent to say she 



150 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

could not go, and Lady Emily always 
attends at the Chapel Eoyal for the sake 
of the singing, which she says is beautiful ; 
but she goes to some particular seat only 
for peers' wives and daughters ; so of 
course I could not accompany her, and 
in consequence I went nowhere. I just 
looked into your book, and saw what sort 
of thing it is ; but I own I am almost 
afraid Mr. Wilberforce seems as difficult to 
understand as yourself Oh, by-the-by," 
continued Lucy, suddenly springing from 
her seat, and opening her work-basket, 
" I have got a note for you from Lady 
Eainsforth. Here," said she, "it is in 
all due form, you see — ' To the Reverend 
Eustace Grey.' " 

Eustace opened the envelope, and out 
fell an opera ticket ! Inside the envelope 
was written, " With Lady Eainsforth's 
best compliments, hoping Mr. Grey will 
give her an answer in person in her box at 
the opera to-morrow evening." 

Eustace could scarcely help smiHng as 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 151 

he looked upon the impotent, hopeless 
means by which Lady Eainsforth intended 
to undermine and corruj)t his principles, 
(upon which achievement Lucy had told. 
him she was bent.) Lucy saw the smile. 
A bright flush of pleasure lit up her 
countenance. " Oh, and you will come, 
won't you ?" and in her anxious anticipa- 
tion of his consent, she laid her hand 
upon that of Eustace, which still held the 
opera ticket. 

The touch of that hand eWg' thrilled" 
throughout his frame ; every pulse beat : 
he could almost hear the throbbing of his 
own heart ; but its vibrations sounded in 
his ears as an alarum, warning him of his 
danger, and rousing him to resistance. 
He took hold of her hand, which still 
grasped his, and, with a melancholy smile 
putting it from him, he looked up in 
her face with an earnestness of expression, 
as if he was gazing upon it for the 
last time. '' Xo, Lucy, no," he said, in a 
decided tone, as he replaced the ticket in 



152 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

its envelope ; " Lady Eainsforth is very 
good, tliinking of me, but I cannot avail 
myself of lier kindness. Give it back to 
her, with many thanks/' 

"Xow, why, dear Eustace, why is 
this?" said Lucy, in a most beseeching 
tone of voice. " Of course you will, I 
know, say, because you think it wrong to 
go to the opera ; but only tell me what 
possible wrong you can find in that ? and, 
at all events, tell me what possible excuse 
I can make to Lady Eainsforth — what 
possible reason I can give her for your 
refusal . For I must, you know, say 
something to account for it. She was 
going to propose Saturday evening to you, 
because it is the Sonnambula that night, 
and Eubini sings in it ; but I thought you 
MIGHT perhaps not like to be out late 
on Saturday evening, if you had to preach 
next morning ; but on Tuesday, I must 
own I cannot see what shadow of harm 
there can be in your going !" 

" There would be, as far as I am 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCII. 153 

concerned," replied Eustace, "tlie same 
harm on Tuesday as on Saturday." 

'' A\Tiy ? have you made a vow that 
you will never go to the opera at all? 
Has your friend " — and Lucy laid a great 
stress on the word friend — " has your 
serious friend required that promise of 
you? 

" Xo, he has not," replied Eustace. 
" But my Saviour has." 

Lucy actually started, and looked 
anxiously in his face, as if she apprehended 
positive insanity. " What can you mean ?" 
she exclaimed. 

" I mean," replied Eustace, in a pecu- 
liarly slow, quiet, but determined tone 
and manner — " I mean that my duty to 
God and my neighbour forbids me ac- 
cepting Lady Eainsforth's offer of this 
ticket." 

"Well, I must own," said Lucy, scarcely 
able to suppress her laughter, " I cannot 
see what your duty to God or your 
neighbour has to do with an opera 



154 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

ticket, and I must say it is really 
carrying goodness rather ridiculously far." 
" It has this to do with it," continued 
Eustace, "that by going to the opera I 
am sanctioning and encouraging an enter- 
tainment which I think to be wrong ^ 
because it brings destruction to the souls 
of those who perform in it. Sm-ely, 
Lucy, even you, innocent as you are, and 
ignorant of so much of the evil of this 
world (being mercifully placed out of 
reach of it), even you must know in what 
a hght those poor devoted, degraded opera 
singfers and dancers are considered: in 
short, as positive outcasts even from all 
decent society ; exposed to trials and 
temptations, to resist which no one 
principle of religion or morahty is ever 
inculcated into them. The whole system 
of the theatre leads to this their moral 
degradation. These poor creatures are 
trained to error from their very childhood. 
They hve in sin, and die in hopeless 
misery. In France, (where the theatres 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 155 

are much more popular, more attended 
than even with ns,) the wretched per- 
formers at them are considered in so 
degraded, indeed even in so hopeless 
a light, with regard to salvation, that they 
are regularly excommunicated hy the 
Church! — denied Christian burial! — and 
to all this these mihappy beings are con- 
demned, for the amusement of their heart- 
less, selfish fellow-creatures. Now, if all 
this is the case with regard to the profes- 
sion and hves of the singers, dancers, and 
greatest part of those connected with the 
stage (and I fear there is no doubt but it is), 
sm-ely all who possess any love for their 
neighbom', to whom we are told to do as 
we would be done by, cannot tliink it 
compatible with that duty, or in conformity 
to the will of God, to encourage merely, 
for the entertainment of an idle horn-, that 
which brings destruction of soul and body 
on those whom we are to love as ourselves. 
We therefore sin against our neighbour by 
so grievously injuring him for om- mere 



] 56 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

amusement, and we sin against God by 
breakins: His commandments, wliich bids 
us love our neighbour as ourselves." 

"Oh, but you put it all in so very 
serious and extreme a light," said Lucy ; 
" and, besides, what difference would it 
make with regard to these singers and 
dancers whether you and I went to the 
theatre or not? They would sing and 
dance on just the same, whether we went 
or stayed {good) at home, so that we 
certainly are not answerable for tlteir sins ; 
that is their affair. By going to the 
opera / don't force them to engage in 
this profession, which you describe as so 
very dreadful." 

" That is no argument at all," rejoined 
Eustace, ''as connected with our own 
duty — our own conduct — om- own con- 
science. Now, answer me one thing, 
Lucy : do you think that if our Saviour 
were now on earth that he would frequent 
our theatres as an amusement, although he 
might to rescue from destruction the poor 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 157 

victims perishing within their polluted 
walls ?" 

" Oh, no, no !" exclaimed Lncj, evi- 
dently shocked at the bare idea of such a 
possibihty ; " but that is so strange a 
light to put it in !" 

" It is the true one, Lucy. He came 
on earth to live as our example, as well as 
die for our salvation, and that {his example) 
is the only undoubted rule by which to 
be guided in all our actions. Whatever 
place of amusement, whatever entertain- 
ment, we are sure our Saviour would not 
have sanctioned by his presence, there 
it cannot be right or safe for his professed 
followers to go.'' 

" I only ask it for this once, as a favour to 
me,'' said Lucy, having apparently totally 
unheeded these last words of Eustace. 
" It would give me such pleasure to see 
you pleased, and I know you would be 
pleased even in spite of yom-self. Do you 
remember how happy I was when, on that 
first morning after yom- arrival at Eome, 
I took you up to the Trinita di Monte, 



] 58 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

and you were so delighted, so worthy of 
that my favourite view ? J^ow, I am sure 
you would be equally delighted with 
my favoui'ite opera, and that dehghtful 
Euhini, you who are so fond of music, 
and then I should once more see you 
look happy ; and I do so long to see you 
look as you did formerly." 

" No one has it in their power to make 
me happy so much as you have, Lucy; 
but you don't go the right way to work." 

"And then," continued Lucy, again 
taking no notice whatever of what 
he had said, " what am I to say to Lady 
Eainsforth ? She will think your refusal 
so extraordinary; for I cannot give her 
any reason whatever for it but what will 
look like condemnation of herself ; and we 
are not to condemn and judge others, you 
know." 

" I can't help that, Lucy. I can only 
act according to what my conscience tells 
me is right." 

Lucy still held Lady Eainsforth's note, 
with its enclosure, in her hand. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 159 

"You remind me," said Eustace, as, 
T\ith a melanclioly, thoughtful expression, 
he gazed in her face — " You remind me of 
Eve tempting Adam !" 

" Ah, but you are not like Adam," said 
Lucy, reproachfully, '' he listened to Eve, 
and you don't listen to me !" 

" And what was the consequence of his 
listening to her?" said Eustace ; ''he hs- 
tened and he fell, and brought a curse 
upon both her and himself. It is all in 
vain, dear Lucy ; I cannot avail myself 
of Lady Eainsforth's offer ; I cannot — no, 
not even to please you (who are dearer to 
me than my very existence) — do that which 
I know to be contrary to the will of my 
God and Sa^4our. That I cannot — that 
I will not do." 

There was rather an awkward pause for 
some minutes, while Eustace sat seemingly 
lost in thought, liis countenance becoming 
more and more overclouded. At last 
Lucy said, " Don't you think it is a bad 
plan making religion such a forbidding, 
uninviting, gloomy thing — in short, mak- 



160 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

ing out that everything which is pleasant 
is wrong V 

"It is only gloomy and uninviting to 
those who do not know what true religion 
is," rephed Eustace. ""We are told in 
the word of God, that ' her ways are ways 
of pleasantness, and all her paths are 
jMace' You once thought," he continued, 
almost breathless from agitation — "you 
once thought that a quiet, peaceful, country 
life was no punishment ; in short, you 
once thought you could be happy living 
at Elsmere parsonage ; perhaps you think 
so no longer?" 

Lucy did not reply ; but Eustace saw, 
by the quick heaving of her bosom, how 
much his sudden question had startled 
her ! And now, terrified at the possibility 
of the sentence, which by these words he 
might have hurried upon himself, and not 
feeling courage at that moment to meet 
his fate — wishing, in short, for a reprieve 
however brief — he hastily said, " Oh ! 
don't reply — don't answer me, Lucy. It 
was a foolish question of mine — forget it 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 161 

— another time we will talk about that 
— not jet, not yet." And hastily rising 
from his seat, he went to a table at the 
further end of the room in search of the 
book which he had the week before given, 
her, and when he returned to the couch, 
he made a sign to Lucy to sit down by 
him. " You ^^ill try and read this book, 
Lucy ?" he said, '' will 3'ou not ? to please 
me, though I will not go to the opera, to 
please you ? You will return good for evil, 
will you not — set me a good example?" 
he added, with a melancholy smile : " and 
you will think of me when you read it — 
of Cousin Eustace !" And turning over 
the leaves, he marked several passages for 
her particular attention. " Here is what 
my friend Wilberforce says about the 
theatre, and he explains what I mean 
better than I can." Again there was a 
pause in their conversation, when Eus-' 
tace suddenly said, " Do you think jour 
father is coming up here again this even- 

VOL. IT. M 



162 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

" No," replied Lucy, " I should not think 
he will; he rarel}^ does." 

" Then I believe — I suppose — I had 
better go down to him and see if there is 
anything more I can do for him to night, 
as I shall not be able to come to-morrow ; 
nor for some days," he added, " for I am 
going out of town, I believe." 

" Out of town — where ?" inquired Lucy; 
but he did not appear to have heard her 
question. 

Eustace rose from his seat, " I suppose — 
I believe — then I had better bid you good 
night, Lucy, now," said he, in a low un- 
certain voice; but instead of going, he 
again resumed his place at her side on the 
couch, and laying his elbow on the table 
before him, he rested his forehead on his 
hand, thus shading the light from his 
face, while his eyes were fixed upon hers. 
*' I was so glad to find you writing for 
your father to-day," said he, after a 
minute's pause, " he seemed so pleased at 
your being what he calls ' useful ,*' " and 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 163 

a melancholy smile passed over the coun- 
tenance of Eustace. ''I hope you will 
often try and be of use to your father; 
you should, Lucy ; he is not well I am 
sure, and he has been so sorely tried." 

These words of Eustace, somehow raised 
a feeling of vague alarm in the mind of 
Lucy, and, looking up in his face, she said, 
anxiously, 

" You talk as if you were going away. 
What do you mean, Eustace ? You are 
not really going away?" 

"Yes, you know I told you I was 
going out of town for a few days." 

" And that is all you mean — is it not ?" 
said she ; " you are not going to leave 
London altogether ?" 

He made no answer, but continued 
gazing upon her with such an intense 
earnestness, as if he wished to imprint 
upon the retina of his memory — never to 
be effaced — every feature of her beloved 
countenance. " Well, I suppose I really 
must go now^ he again repeated, with a 
deep sigh. — But still there he sat beside 



s> 



164 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

lier, his eyes still riveted upon her face. — 
On a sudden he grasped her hand in both 
of his. Lucy actually started, for they 
were icy cold. 

" What is it makes you so cold, Eustace? 
Are you not well ?" 

" Oh, I don't know," he replied ; " I be- 
lieve I am what you ladies call nervous, 
but it is nothing. Your hand will warm 
me," he added, with an odd, wild, excited 
expression on his countenance, and he still 
more closely clasped it in his own. 

In a minute or two he again, on a 
sudden, once more started up from the 
couch : '' Good night, Lucy — and good 
bye," — he added, in a lower tone ; " may 
God watch over and protect you !" 

These last words did not reach the ears 
of Lucy, so breathless was the voice of 
him who uttered them. He rushed to the 
door ^^^j^^^^nM^ — closed it after him — 
and he was gone ! 

Lucy remained for some time lost in 
thought, after Eustace had left the room. 
There was a something in his manner and 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 165 

look which struck her as so odd ; there 
seemed to be some hidden meaning in 
everything he had said, so at least she 
now fancied. Once or twice she was even 
on the point of going do^vn stairs to see 
if he was still mth her father — if only to 
ask if he was not ill ; but she was always 
in some degree in awe of her father, 
although of late she fancied he had been 
much kinder in his manner to her — that 
evening in particular, he had been so 
pleasant with her and Eustace. '"' He is 
so fond of Eustace '." she said to herself — 
AYhile thus pondering in her mind what 
she had better do, she thought she heard 
her father's bell ring ; she ventured to the 
top of the stall's, and looked over the 
banisters. At that moment she saw 
Eustace hastily cross the hall below, and 
almost immediately heard the house door 
finally close after him. " Dear, dear 
Eustace," she ejaculated to herself; "if 
I could but see you look happy !" 



166 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 



CHAPTEE YIII. 

Eustace was next morning sitting at 
the table in his lodging, a sheet of paper 
and writing materials before him, when 
the door opened and Neville entered. He 
was actually startled by the look of intense 
suffering which he read on his young 
friend's countenance. " I fear you have 
no good news to give me,'' said Neville, 
kindly taking his hand. 

" No — none — I have not a hope left — I 
must put an end to this state of torturing 
doubt ; it is madness going on in this way; 
for I am sure I have nothing to look to. 
It must be done — my mind is made up. 
I am going to write to her, for I have 
not yet said a word to her — I could not, 
but I fear I know but too well what her 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 167 

ianswer will be. — I shall, however, give her 
three days to consider, and I must go 
away for those three days ; I must be 
quiet ; I cannot endm-e this place of noise 
and turmoil. I think I shall go and visit 
my poor Mends at Ashford, take leave of 
them " — he added, with a deep sigh. 
■ "Shall I go with you, Grey?" asked 
^Neville. 

" No, my good, kind friend," rephed 
Eustace; '' no. I must be alone — aloiv: with 
God. "Wlien I return — joerhajy-s then— 
you may be of use to me, for I shall pro- 
bably have many things (worldly matters) 
then to settle, and I do not feel very fit 
for that soii: of work, I own. But will 
you be still in London ?" 

" Yes, certainly I will not go away, if I 
can be of the least use or comfort to you. 
At this moment, however, I am sure the 
kindest thing I can do, is to leave you 
alone — no not alone, thank G-od," he added, 
" Eemember, Grey, you have ever with 
vou One who ' sticketh closer ' than even 



168 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

a ' brother/ one who will not leave you 
* comfortless.' " 

With these words, Ne\alle quitted the 
room. 

Eustace took up his pen to write to 
Lucy. His letter was as follows : — 

" I wished to have spoken to you last 
night, dearest Lucy, but was not able ; in- 
deed, I believe it is much better for us both, 
that I should write what I have to say. 
You heard, I know, what Mr. Watson said 
that day at dinner about Mr. Woodford's 
departure from Elsmere ; for Lucy, I saw 
you turn pale. It is quite true, he has 
given up the living, and your father has 
given it to me. — And he has done more. — 

'' You know when we parted at Eome, 
I told you I meant to confess my culpable 
conduct to my uncle. I wrote to him that 
last evening, and told him all. — By his 
answer, it appeared clear I was to tliink 
of you and Elsmere no more. In short, 
he forbad my coming there. — That was 
the reason, Lucy, I was so long absent 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 169 

'from yon — that was the reason, why, 
on the day of yonr poor brother Frede- 
rick's fnneral, although in the house, — 
close to you — I never saw you ! You 
accused me of having forgotten, neglected 
you. — Oh Lucy, Lucy ! — But I must go 
regularly tln^ough my story. — Wliile I 
was at Ashford, I received a message from 
my uncle, through that kind Mr. Watson, 
saying he wished to see me, for that he 
thought I had taken up too strongly what 
he had written to me from Eome, then 
nearly a year and half before. — I im- 
mediately went to town. — I was there 
that one day, you may remember. Your 
father, then, did not say a word to me 
either relative to yourself or the living, 
but was all kindness to me. — It was then 
you reproached me for having forgotten 
you!— Would to Grod I had! — Not long 
after this, business brought me to London, 
— and since then here I have remained and, 
as you know, been able, I trust, to save 
your father some little fatigue and worry 



170 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

by again acting as his secretary, kindly 
constantly welcoming me to his house as a 
guest. — It was about a fortnight ago, 
that he told me of the Elsmere living 
being vacant, and at the same time offered 
it to me. — I refused it, Lucy ! For I was 
so convinced that the bright dream of 
former days was completely at an end — I 
was so aware that the great change in your 
worldly prospects still farther separated 
me from you — that feeling T could not live 
daily exposed to a trial, which, I was well 
aware, I had not the strength to withstand 
— I immediately gave up all thoughts of 
what I had once set my heart upon. 

*' My uncle then — Oh, Lucy ! I hardly 
know how to proceed ! 

" My uncle then said to me — (I will 
repeat his own words, that will be the best 
way of telling my story) — he said, ' If you 
are still in the same mind, and if Lucy likes 
you well enough to give up for you that 
fine world in which she now lives, and her 
worldly friends, I will no longer object to 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 171 

your wishes But ' (he added), ' I doubt if 
she is now fitted to be the wife of a country 
clergyman, whatever she once was, or might 
have fancied herself to be.' — Lucy, it is 
full a fortnight since your father spake 
these words of rapture to me — since he 
gave you to me — since in fact you were 
mine — since all my wildest dreams of hap- 
piness appeared to be realized ! and I have 
never yet had courage to tell you of this ; — 
and I do so now only to bid you recollect 
that on that evening at the Colosseum I re- 
leased you from your engagement — that I 
then ofiered to take back the ring by which 
I had thoughtlessly bound you to myself. 
— You then refused to do so — but I would 
not, you may remember, take you at your 
word. — Again I now renew the same offer; 
— you are free, Lucy ; your happiness is the 
first object of my life — it is far more neces- 
sary to me than my own. — Had you been 
mine before you entered the world in 
which you now live, I really believe you 
might have been happy with me. Yes, 



172 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

dear Lucy, for I know you care for me ; 
and I feel grateful to you — Oh ! how 
grateful ! — that amid all your worldly 
friends and temptations, your old play- 
fellow has never been driven from your 
heart. Yes, even now, I know — I am 
aivare — I am sure — you have not a friend 
you love as well as Cousin Eustace ; — but I 
also know that is a very different thing 
from consenting to unite your existence 
to mine — from giving up for me all those 
pleasures of the world which are now so 
attractive to you ; I know, too, that my 
religious views — my religious principles — 
are too strict for you ; that the life I m ust 
lead would be one of constant privation to 
you. — Xow, Lucy, I must be quite plain 
— quite decided here ; for I am pledged 
to One whom I should love better than I 
love you. I cannot yield in one single 
point what I consider to be my duty ! 
Our argument last night about the opera, 
must show you how immoveable I am on 
that subject — I mean that of religiou^ 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 173 

principle and practice. So again I say — 
you are free. I do not ask you to make 
any sacrifice for me. Your happiness is 
my first object. I could not myself be 
happy, although seeing your dear face, 
hearing your dear voice, constantly enjoy- 
ing your society, if you, Lucy, were not 
happy. — Do not, therefore, be hasty in 
answering me. I give you till Saturday, 
till then I shall be out of town. I will 
call in Stanhope-street, on Saturday after- 
noon, for your answer. Leave your letter 
with the porter, for I shall not go into 
the house ; — my ever entering it again will 
depend upon what that letter contains. — 
May God bless and direct you, dearest ! — 
Apply to Him, Lucy, and He will guide 
you aright. — Er stage." 

Eustace did not trust himself to read 
again what he had now written. He im- 
mediately sealed and directed his letter, 
and in his way to Piccadilly, where he knew 
he was sure of a conveyance to Ashford, he 
put it into the post-office. Thus he had, he_ 



174 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

felt, in a measure sealed his own fate ; and 
lie proceeded on his way with still more 
hurried steps, his eyes fixed on the pave- 
ment before him unconscious of everything 
around. 

Eustace remained at Ashford, as he had 
proposed, until the following Saturday, 
when he was again deposited in Piccadilly, 
and from thence walked to Stanhope-street. 
He looked up at the drawing-room windows 
before going to the door. The blinds 
were all drawn down ; he rang : "Is there 
any letter here for me?" he inquired 
of the servant who opened the door. 

" Yes, I believe there is, sir ;" and he 
brought him one that was standing on 
the hall chimney-piece. 

Eustace thrust it at once, without look- 
ing at it, within the breast of his coat, 
and hurried home. On reaching his room, 
he bolted the door, and sank into the first 
chair. At length, summoning courage, 
he withdrew the letter from his bosom, 
and broke the seal. At first, he fancied 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 175 

the enclosure must have been forgotten 
to be put in (the cover appearing quite 
empty). With trembling hands he again 
examined it ; something fell out — some- 
thing that sounded on the floor as it fell. 
— It was the small fretted gold ring which 
he had put upon Lucy's hand the even- 
ing before they parted at Elsmere. 

For some minutes the room swam 
round before the eyes of Eustace, and a 
cold sweat bedewed his forehead ; he again 
took up the envelope to be sure he had 
not somehow overlooked an enclosure — 
there was nothing ! — He looked at the ad- 
dress; it was not in Lucy's handwriting. — 
'' Not even one parting word !" he ex- 
claimed. " Oh, Lucy, Lucy ! I have not 
deserved such cruel treatment from you. 
I did not expect it of you !" 

Several hours passed; but Eustace 
scarcely took cognizance of them ; he was 
as if stunned ! At last, he felt obliged to 
rouse himself, for he had yet another task 
to perform. One more effort, then all 



176 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

would be over ! — It was to write to liis 
uncle ; for he felt that to retui'n to Stan- 
hope-street was now quite impossible, and 
that he had not sufficient courage to en- 
counter Mr. Lushington, even at the 
banking-house, where (as he kne^\';j he 
was to be found every Monday morning. 
He, therefore, wrote to liim as follows. 

" My dear Uncle, 

"As Lucy may not like to inform you 
herself of what has passed between us, I 
now write to save her that distress, and to 
t-ell you that we have had an explanation, 
and she (as you seemed to expect would, 
be the case) cannot apparently make up 
her mind to the many and great sacrifices 
she would have to encounter in uniting 
her existence with mine. All is, there- 
fore, at an end between us. I am not at 
this minute enough myself to be able to 
express, as I would wish, all that I feel, 
my dear uncle, for your extraordinary 
kindness. Had it been permitted, what a 
happiness would it have been to me to 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 177 

have proved my gratitude by every means 
in my power — to have devoted my life to 
your good and comfort, and thus helped, 
perhaps, to brighten the remainder of 
your days ; but all that may not be ! I 
can only pray for your welfare — for that 
of my dear, dear Lucy ! which I shall 
ever do from the very bottom of my heart. 
She has been quite right in at once put- 
ting an end to what evidently would not 
have been for her happiness, and conse- 
quently could not have been for mine 
either. She was pleased by your em- 
ploying her as your secretary. I hope 
you wiU do so sometimes, it will spare 
your eyes, and I myself cannot — cannot 
return to Stanhope- street any more ! — Of 
course, my dear uncle, I must now again, 
and finally, refuse your kind offer of the 
living of Elsmere. I trust you will find 
a fit person to take charge of the parish, 
and one who will be a comfort to yourself. 
" Your grateful and afiectionate nephew, 
''Eustace Grey." 

VOL. II. N 



178 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

That Tuesday (previous to his going to 
Ashford) on which Eustace had written 
his letter to Lucy, she was to have accom- 
panied Lady Eainsforth, in the evening, 
to the opera (it was the night for which 
the latter had sent Eustace the ticket). 
Lucy was alone in her own room, for it 
was near dressing-time ; she was turning 
over the leaves of the book Eustace had 
given her, and carelessly glancing her 
eye on the passages which he had marked 
for her particular attention, when there 
was a knock at her door, and a servant 
brought her a letter just come for her by 
the penny-post. " Oh, it is from Eustace !'" 
she exclaimed to herself, on looking at the 
address : " it must be to say that he has- 
thought better of it, and will after all go 
to the opera with us to night. Oh, how 
glad I am !" and a flush of pleasure spread 
itself over her countenance. But it soon 
faded, and she became pale as death. 
Over and over she tried to read the letter 
which she held in her hands : but each 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 179 

time with increased confusion of her 
senses ! her dizzy eyes being unable even 
to decipher the words which were before 
her. 

Her maid came into the room, and 
warned her more than once that it was 
getting late — -that it was time to dress ; 
but Lucy heeded her not — heard her not. 

At length, she went up close to her, 
saying, '^Mrs. Lushington bids me tell 
you, ma'am, that she wishes you would 
make haste and dress, for that she wants 
me to go to her." 

Lucy started, looked for a moment in 
the woman's face, as if bewildered, tried to 
speak, and then burst into a violent fit of 
hysterical sobbing. Salts, eau de Cologne, 
sal volatile, all were duly administered by 
Mrs. Eeid. She laid Lucy on the sofa 
and chafed her temples, but all in vain ; 
Lucy continued to weep almost convul- 
sively. Becoming at length alarmed, 
Eeid went to Mrs. Lushington, who was 
still confined to her room. Lady Emily 



180 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Maxwell at that moment being with her, 
(discussing the " unlucky business " of her 
cousin Clifford with Mrs. Vernon). 

" I fear, ma'am," said Eeid on entering, 
"that Miss Lushington must have heard 
some very bad news, for she has had a 
letter by this evening's post, and is crying 
as if her heart would break." 

" Dear me, how odd !" exclaimed Mrs. 
Lushington, " who can she get letters 
from ? and what can she have to cry about ? 
Tell her to come here directly." 

" Oh, ma'am, I assure you Miss Lush- 
ington is really not fit to come to you 
just now ; she is as nervous as anything !" 

" But she must come, nervous or not," 
retorted her mother ; " for I must know 
what all this nonsense is about ; and the 
doctor, you know, positively forbade my 
leaving my room. Will you. Lady Emily, 
be so good as just go and see what is the 
matter." 

Lady Emily went directly ; and on her 
return fuUy corroborated Eeid's report. — 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 181 

Lucy was evidently in the greatest possible 
distress, quite unable to speak or be spoken 
to ; and she had a letter fast clenched in 
her hand. 

"A letter!" said Mrs. Lushington; 
" bring it to me at once ; I must see it." 

"Oh, I cannot do that," said Lady 
Emily (who, though a complete woman of 
the world, had some sense of honour at 
least — some feeling for the feelings of 
another). "I cannot think of taking the 
letter from her in her present state ; indeed 
I do not think I could, it seems so tightly 
grasped in her hand ; we must wait till 
Miss Lushington is more composed, and 
able to explain it all. Have you no idea, 
Mrs. Lushington, who the letter can be 
from?" 

" No, none ; unless it is some nonsense 
from that tiresome Eustace Grey ; he is 
really the plague of my life. Would you 
believe it. Lady Emily, Mr. Lushington 
is actually going to give him the living of 
Elsmere : and, moreover, he has told him 



182 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

that if he likes Lucy, and Lucy likes him, 
that he has no objection to their marry- 
ing. But / shall soon put an end to that !" 

" Miss Lushington marry that penniless 
parson!" exclaimed Lady Emily. '' Slie 
who has all the world at her feet ! I cannot 
believe it to be possible !" 

" Oh, I was sure you would be shocked/' 
said Mrs. Lushington. " For my part, I 
really believe Mr. Lushington has lost his 
senses ; it is the only way I can account 
for his conduct. 1 would have told you 
of this before, but I was really too much 
ashamed, I may say. Indeed, Mr. Lush- 
ington forbad me saying anything about 
his intentions to Lucy or anyone; but 
that I should not have minded, had it not 
been that I have been so ill, and unable to 
speak without coughing. Yes, Mr. Lush- 
ington actually picks out Eustace Grey for 
his son-in-law ! Lucy having, as you say, 
all the world at her feet ; and so I told 
Mr. Lushington ; but he says he hates all 
her^n^ lovers, that he knows quite weU 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 183 

that they are only making up to her for 
her money ; and that they may save them- 
selves the trouble, for that he don't mean 
to give Lucy one farthing ; that his money 
is his own, and that he will dispose of it 
as he pleases ; that if she likes to marry 
Eustace Grrey, they will have the 600/. 
a-year that the Elsmere living is worth ; 
and that he ^vill allow her two or three 
hundred a-year in addition — but that is 
all. But all that, begging Mr. Lush- 
ington's pardon, is nonsense ; for there is 
the Elsmere property, worth at least 3000Z. 
a-year, that must come to Lucy, whether 
he chooses it or not — (and it is really but 
right that should be known). What Mr. 
Lushington's intentions with regard to 
the rest of his property may be, I have no 
idea, for he never condescends to tell me 
anything ; but I declare I should not be at 
all surprised if he was to make that im- 
pertinent Eustace Grey his heir ; for he 
seems to be perfectly bewitched about 
him. I thought Mr. Lushington had had 



184 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

enough of parsons with Mr. Woodford, and 
I suspect Eustace will be ten times worse 
even than he was, as Mr. Lushington will 
find to his cost, when he gets him settled at 
Elsmere, whether he marries Lucy or not." 

" Oh ! I never can beheve," exclaimed 
Lady Emily, " that Miss Lushington would 
do such a thing as throw herself away on a 
country parson ; — in short, we must not let 
her do so." 

"But, dearest Lady Emily," continued 
Mrs. Lushington, "you must remember 
this is all a secret — (a precious secret, 
truly !) — but now do just go and see after 
Lucy ; and if all this childish crying is over, 
tell her to come here, and bring that letter 
with her ; and here," added Mrs. Lush- 
ington, going to her dressing-table, " bid 
her bathe her eyes with this rose-water 
(for I suppose she has been making a fright 
of herself), and tell her to make haste and 
dress for the opera ; for Lady Eainsforth 
said she meant to go early, for she wanted 
to hear the overture for once in a way." 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. ]85 

Lady Emily soon returned from her 
errand, saying that dressing and the opera 
were quite out of the question for that 
evening, for that Lucy was still so nervous, 
and actually ill from violent agitation, 
she had advised her to go to bed at once ; 
to which she had readily agreed — " and in- 
deed it is the best thing she can do." 

" And the letter?" said Mrs. Lushington. 

" Oh, it is no longer in her hand ; and I 
don't know what she has done with it. 
But really, dear Mrs. Lushington, we had 
better not say anything about the letter 
to her to-night ; and I will come to you 
to-morrow morning, if I can be of any use 
to you in this very unpleasant business. 
Will twelve o'clock suit you ?" 

" Oh, yes, and a thousand thanks ; but 
you are so kind !" 

And thus the friends parted, Lady 
Emily leaving Stanhope-street in no very- 
good spirits herself ; for she foresaw that 
her schemes in favour of her cousin, Mr. 
Clifford, were about to fall to the ground 



186 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

as entirely as those with regard to 
her brother, Lord Parnell. The " affair " 
with Mrs. Vernon daily becoming more 
and more serious, and being now talked of 
by everybody ; besides, the account which 
Mrs. Lushington had been giving her 
respecting Mr. Lushington's fature inten- 
tions with regard to his daughter was not 
encouraging in the way of speculation. 
But Lady Emily was by no means wanting 
in acuteness ; at all events, she was 
sagacious enough to have discovered that 
Mrs. Lushington was an uncommonly 
silly woman, and, moreover, that her 
husband was as fully aware of this fact as 
she was herself, and she thought it very 
possible that he did not choose to let her 
into the secret of his real iutentions with 
regard to his property, knowing well that 
they would immediately be proclaimed 
at Charing Cross. She therefore resolved 
on perfect silence herself, at least for the 
present ; and with the promise of return- 
ing next morning, she left Stanhope-street. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 187 

Poor Lucy passed a most wretched, 
sleepless night. She had placed Eustace's 
letter under her pillow, and the moment 
dayhght broke into her apartment, had 
taken it out of its cover, and read and 
re-read it till she knew every word of it 
by heart. 

And to her heart indeed did those 
words go. She so dearly loved, so ad- 
mu'ed, so revered that dear, good Eustace. 
If she could but have more time to 
consider — to make up her mind. She 
was sure if it was but once made up she 
could not but be happy with him, with so 
amiable, so gentle, so kind a being ! But 
then to pass her whole life at Elsmere, 
never to do anything but visit schools and 
poor people ! If Eustace was at least not 
so very strict in his notions — if he would 
but mix a httle more in the world, and do 
more hke other people. But that she now 
saw was hopeless. And then she felt she 
was not herself good enough for him ; and 
he would every day find that out more 



188 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

and more. He would be dissatisfied with 
her. He w^ould not be happy, even if she 
could bring herself to give up everything 
for him — Oh, Lucy, Lucy ! why did 
you not read and re-read the last words in 
that letter from your best of earthly 
friends, wherein he bids you seek for 
heavenly guidance in your perplexity, all 
would then have been well. 

Lady Emily came next morning at the 
appointed hour, and before proceeding 
to Mrs. Lushington's apartment, she 
knocked at Lucy's door. A faint, low 
voice bade her enter. Lucy, who was 
buried in an arm-chair (the same letter 
still in her hand) got up immediately, and 
hastily hiding it in her bag, she attempted 
to speak, but the effort again made her 
tears gush forth afresh. 

" Compose yourself, my dear Miss 
Lushington," said Lady Emily. " I know 
something has happened to distress you, 
but I dare say it will all be cleared up 
and set right. Your mother is very 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH, 189 

anxious to see you and talk it all over 
with you ; so come now with me to her 
room, for I am sure the sooner your mind 
is set at ease the better." And so saying, 
Lady Emily drew Lucy's trembHng arm 
within hers ; and thus, pale with swoUen 
eyes and tear-bedewed cheeks, poor Lucy 
was led as a victim to execution, for weU 
she knew that no one feehng of her heart 
would her mother comprehend or sympa- 
thise with. 

" Well, what a figure you have made of 
yourself," exclaimed Mrs. Lushington, 
the minute she saw her ; " and pray what 
is all tliis bother about ? You have 
had a letter, I understand. Let me see 

it. 

" Oh, mamma 1" exclaimed Lucy, 
shrinking back, '' oh, pray, pray — " 

" I suppose it is some fine high-flown 
love-letter from Eustace Grey — eh ?" 

" No, no, indeed !" 

" Then what is it ? I desire you will 
give it me at once, and that there may be 



190 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

an end of all tliis nonsensical weeping and 
wailing." 

With trembling hands, poor Lucy took 
the letter from her bag, and gave it to 
Mrs. Lushington, who, beckoning to Lady 
Emily, made her come to her side and 
look over her as she read it. Again Lucy 
cast a beseeching look on her mother, but 
it was unheeded. During the perusal 
Mrs. Lushington frequently turned to her 
friend with an expression of contempt, 
even derision, on her face ; and when it 
was finished, she wliispered to Lady 
Emily, though not so low but that Lucy 
heard her, "What a parcel of canting 
stuff." Then turning to her daughter, 
" Well, and where is the necessity, pray, 
of all this violent distress ? I really 
cannot see anything in this letter to 
distress you at all. If any one is to be 
discomposed, it may be myself, I think," 
said Mrs. Lushington, angrily ; " and I 
must say it is not much to the credit of 
any of the party that this pretty love-plot 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 191 

should have been carried on (as it appears 
by what Eustace says) these three years, 
without my knowing anything about the 
matter. However, I am glad it has come 
to an end now, and indeed I must say 
Eustace seems to be a much more reason- 
able sort of person than I gave him credit 
for ; one thing being quite plain, that he 
has no wish to have you for his wife. 
Therefore I really cannot see that you 
need be in any difficulty whatever about 
answering him. The only thing I do not 
understand in his letter is his giving you 
three days to consider what is so easily 
settled in three minutes." 

" Oh, no, mamma, it is not that. You 
do not understand him.'* 

" Not understand ! I really am as 
able to understand as you are, indeed much 
more so ; and his words are perfectly 
plain." And referring to the letter, Mrs. 
Lushington read, " ' / now release you. I 
could not be happy if you were not so/ If 
that is not telling you in plain terms that 



192 THE OLD GREY CHURCH^ 

he does not wish for your company in his 
parsonage, I really don't know what the 
meaning of words is. Lady Emily, don't 
you agree with me ?" 

" Why, I must own," said Lady Emily, 
" I can hut see it in the same Hght." 

"I wish I could," sobhed out Lucy, 
the tears streaming down her face, " but 
I know — I fear — " She could get no 
further. 

" Come, now, pray let us have no more 
of this nonsense," said Mrs. Lushington, 
angrily; and she took a sheet of paper 
out of the blotting-book, and placing it 
before Lucy, with a pen ready dipped 
in the ink, " There, now, just write and 
thank Eustace for his letter, and say you 
are satisfied he is quite in the right, 
and there is an end of it." 

" Oh, no, no, mamma, I cannot write 
that to him. I cannot — I will not." And 
again Lucy was nearly choked with her 
sobs. 

" It will not do at present," whispered 



THE OLD GREi: CHURCH. 193 

Lady Emily to Mrs. Lushington ; "we 
must, I see, go more gently to work." 
Then turning to Lucy, "Come back to 
your own room, my dear girl ; keep your- 
self quiet, for you have had a bad night, 
and are still quite nervous. You will see 
all this in a different light another day, 
and besides, you see, Mr. Grrey is gone out 
of town, and don't expect an answer till 
Saturday ; so there is no hurry." 

" Well, I really never knew such a 
bother made about writing a refusal to a 
lover," said Mrs. Lushington, angrily. " If 
/ had been so undecided and tender-hearted 
I don't know how I should have got on at 
all. By the time I was your age, Lucy, I 
had dismissed, I dare say, half-a-dozen 
admirers. The fuss you make about it 
shows, I fear, you have not had many 
offers. Well, I suppose, as Lady Emily 
says, you had better go to your own 
room now, and try and make up your 
mind." 

Again poor Lucy passed a miserable 

VOL. II. o 



194 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

night of harassing donbt ; and an aching 
head and throbbing pulse was the conse- 
quence next day. Still Mrs. Lushington 
wanted to urge her to write the letter, or 
to let her write it for her; but Lady- 
Emily, more feehng, more compassionate 
than her own mother, begged for more 
time ; in short, for mercy, for the poor 
suffering girl. Saturday morning came — 
the day on which Eustace was to call 
for his answer — and at even as early an 
hour as eleven o'clock, Mrs. Lushington, 
wrapped up in shawls, cloaks, and boas, 
emerged from her own apartment, and, 
leaning on Lady Emily's arm, entered her 
daughter's room. Poor Lucy shuddered 
when she saw her mother; for she 
was well aware the moment was come 
when her final answer must be given. 

Dming the three solitary days and 
sleepless nights which she had now passed, 
Eustace's letter her sole companion, and 
his perfections the constant object of her 
thoughts, the scales had turned very much 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 195 

in liis favour. Ill, low, and nervous as 
she then felt, the noisy fatiguing pleasures 
of the world had (at that moment) lost 
much of their attractions ; and Elsmere, 
that once so loved home, resumed its 
charms in her eyes. Even her garden, 
with its flowers and fresh shady repose, 
were welcome images to her now fevered 
mind and body. 

" Well, Lucy," said Mrs. Lushiilgton, 
assuming 2i jocular tone, " I am come, you 
see, in person to return thanks for your 
obliging inquiries during my illness, and to 
ask after your health in return, hoping 
you are getting all right again as well as 
myself" A faint, melancholy smile was 
Lucy's only reply. " I am come, too, to 
talk over with you that tiresome business 
of Eustace Grey's letter. Have you made 
up your mind what to say to him ? I 
really should not think it required a mo- 
ment's consideration : for certainly you 
would not at all like to pass your whole 
life at Elsmere parsonage, without variety 



196 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

or amusement of any sort, as yon evi- 
dently must do if yon accept the Reverend 
Mr. Grey's Jlattering proposal. Yery 
flattering trnly, when all the advantages 
are on his side; and he does not even 
pretend to give np a single whim of his 
own to please yon. Setting out in this 
way, I wonder what it will be when the 
honeymoon is over. Don't you agree with 
me, Lady Emily ?" 

" I must confess," said Lady Emily, " I 
don't think Mr. Grey holds out a very 
agreeable prospect to Lucy, for she evi- 
dently would have to give up, not only 
every amusement, but, I suppose, all 
society except his own. And though he 
is, I dare say, very good and all that sort 
of thing, I own I should think twice be- 
fore I engaged to marry a man who 
makes bargains beforehand, and says so 
very plainly that he must and will have 
his own way. About the opera, for in- 
stance, there seems to have been some 
altercation already." 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 197 

" Oh, indeed, Lady Emily," stammered 
out poor Lucy, " you quite mistake him. 
I assure you he is the kindest, the most 
amiable, the best !" 

"He shows his amiability, as you call 
it, in a very odd way," rejoined Mrs. 
Lushington, angrily ; " first by securing to 
himself every worldly advantage, and then 
plainly saying he will allow you to share all 
these advantages with him, provided you 
will give up ever)i;hing you like for the 
honour of being his wife. Dear me ! his 
object in all this (by way of romantic love) 
is quite clear. It is not you he cares for, 
but your money." 

"Oh, mammal" exclaimed Lucy, the 
colour rushing into her cheeks at such 
unmerited aspersions ; " how little do you 
know Eustace I" 

" I Tvish I may not know him a great 
deal better than you do, as you will dis- 
cover to your cost if you persist in this 
obstinate folly. I really have no patience 
with you or with his impertinence." 



198 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

" Well, dear mamma/' said poor Lucy, 
her agitation every minute increasing, 
" only give me a little time, and I will 
write to him." 

" Time !" interrupted Mrs. Lushington. 
" You have had three whole days abeady, 
and we are not a bit farther advanced 
than at first." 

" If I could see him," stammered out 
Lucy, "just for a minute. If I could 
speak to him — once more speak to him !" 

" Speak to him ! most certainly not. I 
never heard so extraordinary a proposal. 
Lady Emily, don't you think this would 
be highly improper ? Besides, I think I 
remember that he himself begs you wiU an 
swer him onl^ by letter. If he wished for 
any conversation with you he had nothing 
to do but come. Where is this precious 
letter of his that has occasioned all this 
bother? I want to look at it again." 

Lucy knew well she had no alternative 
but to comply. " Pray," inquired Mrs. 
Lushington, " what is this nonsensical. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 199 

sentimental business about a ring tliat he 
refers to ? AAHiat ring is it ? Have I ever 
seen it ? He says you are to retm-n it to 
liiin. Where is it ?" 

" There,'' said Lucy, in a scarcely audi- 
ble voice, pointing to the small fretted 
gold ring on her left hand. 

" Well, I cannot say it appears to be 
much worth thinking about," said Mrs. 
Lushington, mth a contemptuous smile ; 
" so the simplest thing will be to do just 
what he desires, and return him the ring 
without the trouble of writing anything 
at all, as you seem so mealy-mouthed 
about it. 1 suppose he wants the ring for 
some future occasion of the sort," added 
Mrs. Lushington, with a laugh ; " and at 
any rate you could hardly keep his ring 
when dismissing himself ; for it will look 
rather greedy, perhaps, and indeed be 
scarcely honest. You have plenty of 
other rings, I dare say, and if not, I will 
give you one. So come, give it me at 
once, and I will put it up and save you all 
fui'ther trouble." 



200 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

" Oh no, mamma, mamma ! give me 
only anotlier moment ! pray, pray, dear 
mamma !" 

"Eeally, Lucy, you are too diildish. 
You will neither do one thing or another. 
I cannot allow you to go on in this foolish 
way ; you mil positively make me ill." 

Mrs. Lushington's temper was by na- 
ture none of the mildest, and now, excited 
by opposition, she abruptly seized her 
daughter's hand. Lucy turned deadly 
pale ; she tried again to speak, but could 
not. A faint sickness came over her, and, 
falling back in her chair, she soon lost all 
consciousness. 

Mrs. Lushington took advantage of the 
moment ; the ring was hastily drawn 
from Lucy's now powerless hand, put into 
an envelope, and directed by Lady Emily. 
It must, however, be said in her vindi- 
cation, not without tears steahng down 
her face, and one even falling on the letter 
as she addressed it. 

And thus was the fate of Eustace Grey 
and Lucy Lushington irrevocably fixed. 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 201 



CHAPTEE IX. 

It was fiiUv a fortnight before Lucy was 
well enough, to join her father and mother 
at dinner, being stiU weak and nervous ; 
and when she, for the first time did so, 
and saw the place at the table opposite to 
her (that wliich Eustace used to occupy) 
vacant, she could not restrain her tears. 
Her father was, if possible still more stern 
and cold to her than ever, and scarcely 
spoke. As he was next morning, as usual, 
busy in his study, there was a gentle knock 
at his door, and on his gi^T-Ug leave to enter 
Lucy appeared. " Papa," said she, without 
even raising her eyes towards him, " Papa 
— Eustace." She could get no farther. 

" Well ! what about Eustace ?" iuquired 
Mr. Lushington, eagerly, as he turned 



202 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

quickly towards her, ^'Wliat about 
Eustace ?" 

" He said/' Lucy continued, in a scarcely 
audible voice, — " he said, you would 
perhaps let me help you — write some- 
times for you now — now that — " and she 
burst into tears. 

'' Oh ! if it had not been for you, and 
your folly and jowcjine friends, Eustace 
would have been in this room, and in that 
chair at this moment," said Mr. Lushing- 
ton, angrily, " and I should not have been 
harassed and worn out, as I am ;" and 
then turning away, he muttered to him- 
self, " Eolly, folly ! I have no patience 
with such folly ; and when it is too late, 
Lucy, you and yom- fine friends will be 
aware of your mistake." 

" Can't I do anything for you ?" again 
stammered out Lucy ; "I should be so 



glad." 



" No, not to-day — not to-day," said Mr. 
Lushington, very shortly, and he again 
bent down over the writing table. But still 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 203 

Lucy remained fixed at the same spot 
behind him. 

" Papa," at last she said, " do you 
know ? Have you heard ? Can you tell 
me anything of him — of Eustace ?" The 
name was scarcely audible. 

" I ! How should I know anything of 
Eustace ? It is full three weeks since I 
have seen or heard anything of liim — 
thanks to you, Lucy. He may be gone 
to Jericho, for aught I know. It is all 
yom^ own doing ; and you must take the 
consequence," and then, waving his hand, 
" I am busy now — another time," and 
Mr. Lushington again stooped do^m, and 
returned to his writing. 

Lucy left the room, and went up to 
her own to weep, she felt so thoroughly 
wretched, and her nerves were not just 
then in a state to stand her father's cold, 
harsh manner. Not many minutes after, 
Mrs. Lushington entered, and seeing the 
state in which Lucy was, she stood at the 
door for a minute. " Well, what is the 



204 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

matter now ?'* said she, in an angry tone. 
" JReally, Lucy, there must be an end of all 
this sentimental nonsense, it is too tire- 
some ! I have ordered the carriage at 
three, and you will be ready to go out 
with me. You are quite well now, and I 
will not allow you to mope any more at 
home ; you are really enough to give one 
the blue devils." 

Lucy knew well that all remonstrance 
with Mrs. Lushington was vain, and that 
she had but to submit ; so, bathing her 
burning eyes, and putting a thick veil over 
her face, she followed her mother into the 
carriage. Mrs. Lushington went to various 
shops and left her card at various doors, 
" Tell the footman to go to Lady Eains- 
forth's," said she, at length to Lucy ; " I 
dare say, she would take you to the opera 
to-night, and I am sure it is the best thing 
you can do." 

" Oh no, mamma, I really had rather 
not — much rather not." — The very 
word "opera," recalHng so painfully to 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 205 

Lucy's mind that last time when she had 
seen Eustace, the conversation which had 
then taken place between them, and which 
had led to their final separation. " I 
really had much rather not go ; — pray, 
mamma." 

" But I had rather you did,'' said Mrs. 
Lushington, in a positive tone ; " you are 
really so full of whims and fancies now, 
there is no pleasing you, or making any- 
thing of you. I thought you were mad 
about music, and liked the opera of all 
things." 

" Yes, I did— but— " 

" Did ! and but ! what stuff and non- 
sense ! What has the poor opera done to 
ojffend you?" The carriage stopped at 
Lady Eainsforth's door : " There, put down 
the window, and tell Edward to ask if 
Lady Eainsforth is at home/' — Her lady- 
ship was. — " Well, you had better now go 
to Stanhope-street, and send the carriage 
back for me, for I may be here some time." 
Thankful was poor Lucy for this arrange- 



206 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

ment, and tliat slie was thus spared more 
animadversions and discussions — spared, 
too, hearing Eustace's name ; for she was 
sm^e Lady Eainsforth would inquire after 
him, perhaps even allude to the history of 
the rejected opera ticket, and to her own 
non-appearance on that Tuesday evening, 
for Lucy had never seen Lady Eainsforth 
since all that had occurred. 

On leaving Grosvenor Place, where 
Lady Eainsforth lived, they had to cross 
Piccadilly, in order to get into Hyde Park. 
There was at that moment a particular 
crowd and confusion of waggons, stage- 
coaches, and cabs in the street, so that 
the carriage had to stop, and numbers of 
pedestrians were also detained on the foot 
pavement waiting to cross. As Lucy, en- 
grossed by her own thoughts, looked va- 
cantly out of the window, she saw, amid 
the crowd on the opposite side of the 
street, the figures of two gentlemen in 
black ; an actual scream escaped from her. 
" Oh Eustace, Eustace !" she exclaimed, 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 207 

and, unconscious of what she did, she 
hurriedly looked all round the carriage, 
for the check- string ; there was none. 
The carriage again hegan to move on. 
" Oh stop, stop !" she cried, trying in vain 
to get the window down ; but she was not 
heard, her voice being di'owned in the 
noise of the crowd around. Suddenly the 
impediment to their progress seemed to 
be removed, the coachman dashed on. 
Lucy again looked out of the window ; 
but Eustace was lost in the crowd, she 
could no longer distinguish him. 

And what could she have said ? What 
could she have done ? if they had then met ! 
She had for a minute fancied, that he had 
recognised the carriage, and was looking 
towards it ; but even if he had, what 
would it have availed ? all was finally fixed 
between them — all was over. But, oh ! if 
she could but once more see him, and ask 
his forgiveness, she thought she would be 
happier — her mind would be more at rest. 

Mrs. Lushington, careless of her 



208 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

daughter's entreaties, had settled the matter 
about the opera with Lady Eainsforth, and 
she called for Lucy at the appointed time, 
who, of course, had no choice but to obey 
and go. There she was again where she 
had passed so many hours in thoughtless 
enjoyment, but all seemed now changed. 
Eustace's grave, melancholy countenance 
on that last evening they had spent to- 
gether, in Stanhope-street, when he had 
argued with her on the evils of the theatre, 
was ever before her : his words haunted 
her, " Whatever entertainment we are sure 
our Saviour would not have sanctioned by 
his presence, there it cannot be right or 
safe for his professed followers to go." 
As the voices of the singers swelled in 
chorus, Lucy's whole frame trembled with 
nervous emotion, and she almost uncon- 
sciously averted her eyes from the gay 
dancing figures which fluttered on the 
stage before her. Sir Alexander came 
into the box as usual, but his jokes fell 
dead on the ears of Lucy, and finding at 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 209 

last that it was impossible to attract her 
attention, he gave the matter up, and 
placing himself close to Lady Eainsforth, 
on the opposite side of the box, they 
carried on an (apparently) interesting 
whispering conversation, Lucy once or 
twice fancying she heard her own name 
and that of Grey, and then the words, 
" Extraordinary infatuation, impertinent 
fellow, a good thing it is put an end to." 



VOL. II. 



210 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 



CHAPTEE X. 

Indisposition having for some time 
confined Mr. Lushington at home, he had 
omitted his attendance at the banking- 
house on his usual days, so that his 
presence was unexpected when he at last, 
one morning, appeared. He went straight 
on to the private room, where Ned Watson 
was always to he found at his wi-iting- 
desk, but he was not there. Upon it 
there lay a paper which, concluding it was 
one he had given Ned to copy, at his last 
interview with him, Mr. Lushington at 
once began looking it over. At that 
moment Ned entered. 

"What is all this?" inquired Mr. 
Lushington, as his eye fell on the sig- 
nature at the bottom of the page before 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 211 

Mm. " Grey ! Eustace Grey ! Wliat does 
all this mean ?" 

" Oh/' answered Ned, his face reddening, 
"it is only a little money business which 
my father has been settling for Grey." 

" Money business," repeated Mr. Lush- 
ington, "I did not think Eustace Grey 
could have many money transactions ! 
3000^. ! bless me ! what is it aU about ?" 

"I beHeve," said Ked, hesitating be- 
tween the fear of displeasing Mr. Lush- 
ington by not replying to his inquiry, and 
of divulging something he should not — " I 
believe it is some money Grey wants to 
settle on his mother, — on Mrs. Grey." 

" Humph," said Mr. Lushington, again 
looking over the paper, " why I declare 
he is disposing of the whole of the money 
left him by Mr. Elsmere. Sinking it for 
the benefit of his mother ! Why the boy 
must be mad, for it is aU he has in the 
world that I know of. What does he 
mean to live upon ?" 

" I beheve — I suppose," said Ned, hesi- 



212 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

tatingly, " he will not need money now, 
for he is, you know, going as missionary 
to India, and I understand those who go 
out in that way are maintained by some 
society." 

" What, is Eustace then seriously think- 
ing of going out as a missionary to India ! 
is he so mad as that ? But I shall soon 
put a stop to such nonsense." 

" He is gone !" replied Ned with a 
quivering hp. 

" Gone !" repeated Mr. Lushington ; 
" my God, is it possible !" and an ex- 
pression of the most acute pain contracted 
his brow. " Gone ! and never told me 1 
never came to take leave of me !" 

" Oh yes, sir, he did," said Ned, "I know 
he did. He came two or three times here 
inquiring for you, and again last Monday 
week when we expected you, and not find- 
ing you here he went to Stanhope-street. 
I know he did, for I was with him, and 
I know he left a letter for you, for he 
wrote it here, and gave it to the servant 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 213 

who came to the door at yom- house, and 
who said you were not at home." 

]\Ir. Lushington stood for a moment as 
if petrified. Again he inquired of Ned 
whether he was certain Eustace was gone. 
" I saw him on board the vessel, sir," 
said poor Ned (scarcely able to speak). " T 
staid with him till we were all ordered to 
leave the ship, for she was getting under 
weigh. Poor fellow ! he broke down at 
last, but he was resolved on going ; indeed 
he said he had no choice." 

Mr. Lushington did not speak for a few" 
minutes, and then again retm-ning to the 
paper lying on the desk : ''What did you 
say this paper was about ?" 

"It is a powder of attorney, su'," re- 
peated Ned, "authorising my father to 
pm'chase a life annuity with that money 
for Mrs. Grrey." 

Mr. Lushington clasped his hands, 
tears starting into his eyes. " Noble 
feUow! noble feUow!" he exclaimed, "he 
deserved a better fate. But is it too late 



214 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

— are you sure it is too late ? would there 
be no possibility of stopping the vessel ? 
It may have put in at some other port, 
are you quite sure the ship has sailed 
finally ?" 

" I watched her from the pier as long 
as she was in sight," said Ned ; "I could 
not tear myself away, and I afterwards 
saw she had put into Falmouth, for pro- 
visions I believe, and finally left England 
fully ten days ago." 

Mr. Lushington seemed quite over- 
powered by his feelings, then in a minute 
making an efibrt, and regaining his com- 
posure, he said, " I will come again to- 
morrow, I can't stay now. I have forgot 
what I came for — what I had to say to 
you — I will come to-morrow," and so 
saying, he hrn'ried home. 

On entering the hall he immediately 
inquired whether an}^ letter had been left 
for him ten or twelve days before ? 

" No sir, none that I know of," said the 
servant ; " but I will inquire, for I was 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 215 

absent last week, and William answered 
the door." 

AYilliam appeared, at first he, too, 
knew nothing of the letter, but on turn- 
ing over the many dirty cards and begging 
letters piled on the hall chimney-piece, 
that of Eustace was at length found mth 
two small cards — Eev.E.Grrey, T.T.L. Mr. 
Lushino^ton, with an oath at the servant's 
neghgence, snatched the letter out of his 
hand and hurried into his own room, where, 
breaking the seal, he read as follows — 

" My dear Uncle, 

" I cannot leave England without en- 
deavouring once more to see you, once 
more thanking you for all your many — 
many acts of kindness to me. I have 
gone repeatedly to the banking-house in 
the hope of finding you, but in vain ; so I 
have made up my mind to brave the many 
painful recollections connected with Stan- 
hope-street in the hope of seeing you once 
more, and I write this to leave at your 
house if I am not so fortunate. I sail 



216 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

from Grravesend for my friture destination 
(India) next Tuesday. Of course my 
mother knows of my intentions. I have 
been to take leave of her ; I trust to your 
kindness to her ; her old friend with whom 
she lives is, T fear, breaking fast. 

" Farewell, my dearest uncle, I will ven- 
ture to send through you my best — best love 
to dear Lucy. Take care of her, be kind to 
her, dear uncle ; tell her that from my 
heart I forgive her all the pain she has 
occasioned me, if only she is happy herself. 
For that happiness (far dearer to me than 
my own) I shall ever pray. In a new 
world, with new duties, with nothmg to 
recall the past, I trust I shall, with Grod's 
help, be enabled in time to submit myself 
to His will. 

" Heaven bless and preserve you, my 
dear uncle. Farewell ! I fear I may say for 
ever — at least in this world. 

"Tour ever grateful and affectionate 
nephew, 

" Eustace Grey." 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 217 

In the afternoon of that day, and at the 
very hour when Eustace used to apply 
for admission into his uncle's study, a 
gentle knock was heard at the door. Mr. 
Lushington started up from his chair ! 
It was Lucy, again come to request of her 
father to employ her as his secretary. 

''Is it you, Lucy ?" said he, in even a 
more stern and angry tone than usual. 
" Come in, I want to speak to you — shut 
the door — there, sit down," he added, 
pointing to a chair. " You asked me, 
the other day, for news of Eustace. I can 
give it you now. He is gone as a mis- 
sionary to India. He desires his love to 
you. There, you may read what he says ;" 
and, without even looking at her, he held 
out to Lucy Eustace's farewell letter. 

But the hand which Mr. Lushington 
expected to take it from his, had fallen 
powerless by her side. She faintly pro- 
nounced the name of Eustace I and sank 
insensible on the floor. 

Had Mr. Lushington had more time to 



218 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

recover himself, after hearing the startling 
news of his nephew's departure — had he 
even had time to control his passion on 
discovering the unpardonable neglect of 
which his servant had been guilty — he, no 
doubt, would have endeavoured, in some 
measure, to soften to his daughter the dis- 
tressing intelligence he had to communi- 
cate ; but both his temper and his feelings 
were, at that moment, roused and uTitated 
beyond his control. He felt bitterly the 
loss of his nephew. In consequence of 
the fatal delay in the receipt of his letter, 
days having now passed, all possibihty of 
recalling him was over and lost ! and 
thus, every way irritated, Mr. Lushington 
was too entirely absorbed in his own feel- 
ings of distress, even to think of those of 
Lucy. But when he saw her pale as 
death, laying senseless at his feet — terror 
— natural affection — even mere fellow-feel- 
ing for one thus stunned by that same 
blow which had fallen so heavily on him- 
self — all conspired to arouse, at the mo- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 219 

ment, the best feelings of his natiu-e. He 
addressed liis poor, stricken child in terms 
of affection and endearment, such as had 
never passed his hps before. He lifted her 
from the floor, laid her on a couch, and 
sprinkled water in her face. Never hav- 
mg at any time had any intimate inter- 
coui'se mth her, so as to be at all aware of 
her nervous, sensitive nature, he was ac- 
tually frightened at the state in which he 
now saw her lay ; but he dared not ring 
for assistance. He would have no one 
witness her distress — perhaps, rather, he 
might have said his own. 

" Lucy, my poor Lucy !" said he, as he 
bent over her, and fondly kissed her pale 
face, ''compose yourself — bear up — for 
my sake bear up." 

That voice, low as were, then, its broken 
accents, reached Lucy's heart. She opened 
her eyes ; for a moment she gazed va- 
cantly in her father's face, as if scarcely 
conscious who it was that was speaking 
to her; and then, suddenly clasping her 



220 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

arms round his neck, she burst into an 
agony of tears. 

Even that cold, stern father could not 
resist the silent eloquence of that endear- 
ment — " Hush, Lucy, hush," he said, 
as tears slowly stole down his own face. 
" Hush, you will be heard ;" and loosing 
himself from her grasp, Mr. Lushington 
went and bolted the door of the room ; 
at the same time throwing up the sash 
and putting back the window-curtains 
that the air might more freely blow upon 
her face ; and then, returning to her side, 
and taking her hand, " I should not have 
told you this so abruptly — forgive me, 
Lucy." 

Her father asking her forgiveness ! 
again poor Lucy's tears bm'st forth afresh. 

" We have all been to blame," said 
Mr. Lushington; "but the past cannot 
now be recalled. If it had not been for 

that d d rascal's cursed carelessness 

and neglect — perhaps still — he might have 
been — !" 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 221 

'' Oh papa ! don't say that, I cannot 
bear that !" and, clasping her hands, she 
stared wildly before her, as if addressing 
some one present — "Eustace, dear dear 
Eustace !" she exclaimed, " forgive me, for- 
give me !" 

" He does forgive you, Lucy, he does ; 
here are his own words," said Mr. 
Lushington, as he took Eustace's letter 
up from the floor, where it had fallen 
from Lucy's hands. " Hear what he 
says : — ' My best love to dear Lucy ; be 
kind to her, tell her that, from my 
heart I forgive her all the pain she 
has occasix)ned me, if only she is happy 
herself! For that happiness, far dearer 
to me than my own, I shall ever pray.' 
And with regard to himself, he adds," 
continued Mr. Lushington, in a still 
more trembling voice, " 'in a new 
world, with new duties, with nothing to 
recall the past, I trust I shall, with God's 
help, be enabled in time to submit my- 
self to his will. Heaven bless and pre- 



222 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

serve you, my dear uncle. Farewell ! I 
fear I may say for ever — at least in this 
world.' " 

" For ever I — In a new world!" re- 
peated Lucy, with streaming eyes ; " and 
shall I never see him again! never again 
hear his voice — that kind, kind voice ? 
Oh papa ! papa ! it is too much — too 
much!" and again she sank back, gasping 
for breath. 

Mr. Lushington knew not what to do, he 
was quite overpowered, unmanned. At that 
moment, one of those thundering knocks 
with which fashionable London footmen 
dehght in stunning themselves and others, 
rang through the hall, and, dreading lest 
it should be Mrs. Lushington returning 
home, he unbolted the study door, and 
looked anxiously towards the street. It 
was not Mrs. Lushington, and he recog- 
nised Lady Emily Maxwell's servant. 
Grently, therefore, closing the door of his 
own room behind him, and begging to 
speak to Lady Emily for a minute, Mr. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 223 

Lushington took her into the dining- 
room adjoining ; and there, in a hurried 
incoherent manner, informed her of what 
had happened. Lady Emily changed 
colour at his recital. The remembrance of 
the part which she had herself acted in the 
business, and by wliich this sad catas- 
trophy had been brought about, actually 
appalled her. " How distressing ! how 
very shocking !" she exclaimed. " But 
who would ever have thought that Mr. 
Grrey would have taken Lucy's refusal, in 
the veri/ serious manner he has done? 
who would ever have imagined that he 
would have recourse to so desperate a 
step ? " 

" I should," said Mr. Lushington ; " I 
might, indeed, have remembered his own 
words, when, some time ago, apparently 
despairing of the fulfilment of his wishes, 
he (although vaguely) hinted at his inten- 
tion of leaving England, and seeking occu- 
pation elsewhere. All this I anight have 
remembered, besides numberless other cir- 



224 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

cumstances, which now, when too late, 
rush upon my mind, and which should 
have warned me ; but I heeded them not, 
and now it is too late ! Meaning, wishing, 
intending liis good, and that of my poor 
girl, I have blasted the happiness of 
both !" Mr. Lushingion's voice became 
choaked with emotion, and he covered his 
face with his hands ; but, in a minute, 
suddenly starting up, anger flashing from 
his eyes, "No, it was not me — it was not 
me ! It was her mother! it was all her 
worldly friends ! Yes, Lady Emily, it was 
you who have ruined her happiness for 
ever. Go to her now, and look at your 
victim — the victim of unprincipled worldly 
vanity and selfishness ! Go, and look at 
the poor unsuspecting girl whom you 
have so misled, so blinded with your per- 
nicious, heartless deceits and flatteries, 
that she has cast from her — and for ever 
— her best, her only real friend ! Go and 
see the result of aU your schemes and 
plottings ! Yes, your schemes, Lady 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 2.25 

Emily ; for I saw it all. — I know it all ; 
and/' lie added, with a stra.nge sarcastic 
expression on his face — '' and verily I en- 
joyed the prospect of your disappoint- 
ment, for I thought I was sure of it — I 
thought I had secured Lucy safe from all 
your machinations. I gave her to Eus- 
tace — to that noble-minded creature I I 
left it to him to plead his own cause I I 
did not believe it possible that she could 
be insensible to such merit ; nor would 
she, had it not been for you, Lady Emily, 
— for it was you and her mother who did 
it all — I know it all now — and your's 
will be a feai'ful reckoning." ]\L. Lush- 
ington, actually gasping for breath, sunk 
down into a chair. 

" Mr. Lushington," said Lady Emily, 
calmly, " you are not at this moment in a 
state to be even aware of what you are 
sapng. I pity a father's feelings too 
much to attend to, or give any meaning 
to the words you are uttering ; at another 
time we will talk of all this. I had bet- 

VOL. II. Q 



22G THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

ter now go and try and be of some use to 
Lucy. T\niere is she ?" 

These words of Lady Emily brought 
Mr. Lushington in some degree to his 
senses — he had spent liis passion. " Par- 
don me, Lady Emily," he said, in a sub- 
dued, tremulous voice. " Pardon me ; I 
am perhaps to blame for speaking as I 
have now done ; but in truth I scarcely 
know what I am sapng. Yes, go to 
Lucy; if possible give her some comfort — 
/ cannot, I need it too much myself. — If 
it had not been," continued IMr. Lushing- 
ton, as if speaking to himself, as in appa- 
rent agony of mind he clenched his fist, 
his anger again rising — " if it had not 
been for that rascal's d — d neglect, all 
might still have been set right ; but now 
it is too late — too late." 

Lady Emily and Mr. Lushington pro- 
ceeded to the study. On hearing the door 
open Lucy started up from the couch, but 
when she perceived Lady Emily (one so 
connected in her mind with what had 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 227 

taken place on that dreadful Saturday 
when she and her mother had so hurried 
her answer to Eustace), Lucy uttered a 
faint cry, and burying her face in the 
cushion of the couch, she motioned with 
her hand to Lady Emily to leave her. 
Lady Emily felt keenly the silent reproacli 
of that action. She was a thorough wo- 
man of the world, but she was not without 
some woman's feelings. Her worldliness 
made her take especial pleasure in all sorts 
of plans and plottings, from the settling 
of a dinner-party to matrimonial, and even 
political intrigues ; and being without a 
particle of romance or enthusiasm herself, 
she could not enter into any exalted feel- 
ings, whether of love or friendship, in 
others. The character of Eustace Grey 
was one quite beyond her comprehension. 
His ardent, devoted, but liigh-principled 
love, seemed to her a species of madness, 
if not mere cant and hypocrisy. Nor 
could she even quite understand the nature 
of Lucy's strong feelings of affection for 



228 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

him ; for she was not, Lady Emily was 
sure, what is called in love with him. 

But if unequal to comprehending the cha- 
racter of Eustace and Lucy, Lady Emily was 
quite able to read Mrs. Lushington's. She 
at once plainly saw what were her views and 
calculations, namely, to raise her daughter 
by a splendid marriage into that position 
in the world to which naturally she could 
hardly have aspired; and nothing. Lady 
Emily thought, could be more j^rais^- 
worthy even than such speculations. And 
while out of pure benevolence she assisted 
Mrs. Lushington in these her views for 
Lucy, she could see no harm in endeavom-- 
ing at the same time to benefit her ovm 
relations, now that Lucy, by the death of 
her last sm^viving brother, had become so 
enormous a " catch.'' Lady Emily had in 
her own marriage neither sought or cared 
for any union of heart and soul, and 
she even went so far as to fancy that it 
was only foohsh, romantic, novel-reading, 
boarding-school misses that ever did. It 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 229 

therefore never entered her mind that she 
was in any way injuring Lucy when doing 
her utmost to draw her into an alhance, 
first with her own dull, phlegmatic bro- 
ther, Lord Parnell, and then with her 
dissolute cousin CHfford. By marrying 
either of these Lucy would have secured 
to herself that rank and station in society 
wliich her mother ambitioned for her, and 
which Lady Emily had no doubt Lucy 
would very much like hei'self. And it 
must farther be said in Lady Emily's de- 
fence, that, except during the visit of 
Eustace to Eome (now above three years 
ago), and that one evening which he had 
spent in Stanhope-street while he was 
residing at Ashford, Lady Emily had 
never seen him and Lucy together. She 
was not, in fact, at all acquainted with 
Eustace, and judging by her owti and the 
common feehngs and principles of the 
world, she interpreted his evident devo- 
tion to his cousin into devotion to those 
advantages of wealth and worldly consi- 



230 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

deration which he would obtain by an 
union with Mr. Lushington's daughter ; 
and she had indeed even more than once ex- 
pressed her disgust at what she conceived 
to be his " canting hypocrisy'' when endea- 
vouring to conceal (as she thought he did) 
his own mere worldly, seMsh views under 
an outward appearance of piety and zeal for 
her soul's welfare. With regard to Lucy 
herself Lady Emily had judged more 
wisely, when settling she was not in love 
with her cousin. How indeed could she 
be, she thought, when evidently entering 
into and enjoying so heartily those amuse- 
ments of the world of which he never par- 
took — which he even decidedly condemned, 
and receiving with such apparent com- 
placency the attention of all around her. 
When, therefore, Lady Emily joined heart 
and soul in Mrs. Lushington's endeavours 
to put an end to all connexion between 
her daughter and one whom she considered 
in the light of a speculating, hypocritical, 
penniless parson, she really thought she 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 231 

was doing Lucy, as well as her motlier, a 
positive service ; and in lier ignorance of 
the truth, she even went so far as to fancy 
that if she could at that moment have 
brought forward her handsome, fascinating 
cousin CHfford, she would still more have 
added to her good offices, that Lucy would 
soon have been cured of her high-flown 
sentimental feehngs for her cousin Eustace, 
and been too happy to have secm-ed to 
herself a coronet instead of a parsonage. 
But all Lady Emily's plans, well-laid as 
she thought them, failed as enthely with re- 
gard to her cousin as they had in the case 
of her brother ; for matters had come to a 
crisis between Mr. Cliflbrd and his friend's 
pretty ^\T.fe, Mrs. Vernon, and instead of 
his being ready at this moment to be 
brought forward in the character of a 
suitor to Lucy (when b}^ the final dis- 
missal of Eustace the coast seemed clear), 
he had eloped with the object of his law- 
less passion, and a trial for crim. con. was 
inevitable. 



232 THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. 

Such had been Lady Emily's thoughts 
and calculations with regard to poor Lucy 
(judging by herself and the common ways 
of the world in which she lived), but when 
she now beheld the victim (as Mr. Lush- 
ington called his suffering daughter) of 
the heartless schemings of her heartless 
worldly friends, Lady Emily was really 
shocked ; and not being devoid of feeling, 
notwithstanding her habitual worldliness, 
she bitterly repented the part she had 
acted, and felt sincerely for the misery she 
had helped to inflict. It was a case, too, in 
which reparation was impossible ! There 
was nothing to be done ! There was not a 
hope, a chance of any possible circumstance 
which could bring any change or relief to 
poor Lucy in her distress. Eustace Grrey 
was gone ! — gone to another v\^orld, beyond 
all possibihty of recall; hopelessly, irre- 
vocably gone ! His destination even un- 
known ; for twenty-five years ago inter- 
course with Lidia — with those parts of it, 
at least, to which Eustace, in his character 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 233 

of missionary, would be sent — was not what 
it is now. That country was to Europeans 
then ahnost a living tomb. What, there- 
fore, would be his destination — where his 
life would be passed — no one could tell ; he 
knew not himself, and he cared not ! He 
was, in short, as much cut off from all 
human ties as by death itself. And in 
consequence his farewell to his uncle was, 
as he liimself had said, final 1 

Notwithstanding Lucy had evidently 
shrunk from Lady Emily when she saw 
her enter her father's study, the latter did 
not desist from her kind exertions in be- 
half of the poor sufiering girl. She spoke 
to her in words of kindness and sympathy ; 
said everything best calculated to sooth 
her ; and the warm-hearted Lucy was not 
one to reject such well-meant words. She 
became more composed ; and, perceiving 
this, Lady Emily in a gentle voice whis- 
pered to her, "Do you think you could 
come up with me to your own room, 
Lucy ? Perhaps we might as well leave 



234 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

your father now ; lie may like to be alone. 
Besides, Mrs. Lusliington will soon be 
coming home, and she had better not find 
us here ; it might alarm her ;" and Lady 
Emily stooped down and kissed Lucy's 
tear-bedewed cheek. 

" Yes — very well — thank you," was all 
poor Lucy could utter, as she prepared to 
comply with this advice. On reaching the 
door she tm-ned and looked at her father, 
and then suddenly disengaging herself 
from Lady Emily, she rushed up to him, 
and throwing her arms round his neck, 
" Dear papa," she whispered to him, '' thank 
you ; thank you for all your kindness, and 
I promise I will bear all this better. I 
will try — indeed I will." 

Mr. Lusliington did not speak, but 
kindly imprinting a kiss on his daughter's 
forehead, he motioned her with his hand 
to leave him. 

And in truth this cold, hard, stern 
father, was at this moment perhaps a 
greater object of commiseration than even 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 235 

Lucy herself I The painful feelings from 
which he now suffered were new to him, 
and he was totally overpowered. From 
his very boyhood Eustace had strangely 
entwined himself (almost unconsciously on 
the part of Mr. Lushington) in his uncle's 
affections ; aud totally different as their 
natures were, that uncle had sufficient 
superiority of character to appreciate the 
noble, generous quahties which so emi- 
nently distinguished Eustace, even though 
they were sometimes almost above his 
comprehension. Of late, too, they had 
been so much thrown together in familiar 
daily intercourse, and Eustace had made 
himself so useful to his uncle, that the 
charm, the fascination, indeed, of his natu- 
ral, affectionate manners, had won strongly 
upon Mr. Lushington' s heart and feelings. 
When Eustace had, tliree years before, 
on leaving Eome, made his " confession " to 
his uncle, the latter had for many reasons 
considered it best to put an end (for the 
moment, at least) to what he really 



236 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

thouglit, (as he had said,) was probably but 
a mere passing sdiool-boy's fancy ; and 
one, therefore, which it was as well not to 
encourage by frequent intercourse between 
the cousins, such intimate intercourse at 
least as had hitherto subsisted. He had 
not, however, intended that caution to ex- 
tend so far as to prohibit entirely all future 
meetings. But Eustace's strong feelings 
and cliivalresque sense of'honour, made him 
then, as it did sometimes in other matters, 
go even beyond the mark, thereby giving 
to his conduct an appearance of pride and 
temper far from his nature. Perhaps if 
the uncle and nephew had met, after the 
return of the former from Italy, the " mis- 
understanding'' as Mr. Lushington called 
it, might have been cleared up. But then 
came the dreadful, tragical event of Frede- 
rick's death, which placed Eustace (al- 
though unknown to himself) in a totally 
different position, vis-a-vis his uncle ; and 
although Eustace was ignorant of this cir- 
cumstance, Mr. Lushington knew it, and 



THE OLD GREiT CHURCH. 237 . 

that knowledge was especially calculated 
to create a feeling of suspicion, and there- 
fore of estrangement on his part towards 
his nephew. Accumulated pecuniaiy em- 
barrassments connected with the banking- 
house at that time also pressed upon Mr. 
Lushington ; and his mind, which had 
liitherto been so powerful, was shaken, liis 
nerves affected and enfeebled, and, while 
now constantly dwelling on the failure of 
his own Avorldly schemes and speculations, 
his thouo^hts reverted ag-ain and ao:ain to 
Mr. Elsmere's will, and each time with a 
stronger conviction that, failing his two 
sons (both now in their premature graves), 
it was on Eustace Grey, and not on his 
daughter that the Elsmere propert}^ would 
devolve ; and he at length so far fami- 
liarized his mind to the fact, that he re- 
solved the day should not be far distant 
when he would make his nephew aware of 
his brightened prospects. But mammon 
still kept such firm hold on Mr. Lush- 
ington's affections, that, notwithstanding 



238 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

his great partiality for Eustace, he had not 
resolution to hasten the moment when he 
would, as he fancied, loosen his own hold 
on that property by reveahng the truth to 
him ; although, of course, well convinced 
that, by no concealment or management 
on his part, could he secure its possession 
to Lucy, any more than retain it himself 
when he should be summoned to another 
world. These were the feelings which had 
in so extraordinary a manner agitated Mr. 
Lushington, on unexpectedly beholding his 
nephew, on the day of his son Frederick's 
funeral. He was not even aware that 
Eustace had been summoned ; and the in- 
stant he saw him, conscience suggested 
the idea that he was come to assert his 
future claims to a possession which seemed 
to be thus loosening from his own grasp. 
But now all was changed; and, inde- 
pendently of his altered feelings towards 
his nephew, Mr. Lushington even from 
selfish motives rejoiced in the flattering 
prospects opening before him; hoping 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 239 

thereby to secure a future provision for his 
daughter, whatever might be the result of 
his own widely-extended speculations, and 
the dangers attending on so fluctuating a 
capital. 

While, therefore, Mrs. Lushington and 
her fashionable friends were planning their 
various matrimonial schemes for poor un- 
conscious Lucy, her father made up his 
mind to yield to his nephew's wishes. Why 
he let so much time pass, before he made 
this known to Eustace, it is hard to say, 
and can only be accounted for by the 
strange dislike he- had to witnessing in 
others that happiness of which he had lost 
all enjoyment himself, and his peculiarly 
cold, reserved nature. But that nature 
itself had, in some degree, yielded to his 
affection for Eustace Grrey, and he had 
actually enjoyed the sight of his over- 
powering happiness, when informed by 
him that he no longer objected to his 
union with Lucy. That day Mr. Lushing- 
ton's heart had actually throbbed with 



240 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

natural affection and disinterested joy, so 
that even Lucy, ignorant of tlie cause, had 
noticed it, inquiring of Eustace what he 
could have been doing for, or saying to 
her father, to put him in such spirits. 
" For really," as she observed, " poor papa 
looks at this minute quite happy ; and it 
is so seldom now he does look happy." 

But all these better feehngs were ab. 
sorbed in sullen anger when he heard of 
the answer that Lucy was persuaded — or 
rather forced by her mother and her 
worldly friend Lady Emily — to give in 
reply to his nephew's letter. And those 
proud, angry feelings induced him sullenly 
to keep silence when, had he sought his 
harassed daughter, had he assisted her in 
resisting her mother's pernicious inter- 
ference, all would have been well ; so will- 
ingly would poor Lucy have listened to one 
who pleaded in favour of Eustace ! A word 
then from her father, and the die would 
have been cast — her happiness secured. 
That very last evening when Eustace 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 241 

was in Stanhope-street that evening when 
— nnsuspected by poor Lucy, he had taken 
^ final ^^e of her, when she had started 
at the icy cold of his nervous hand, as he 
for the last time elapsed hers Tsithin it — 
that very evening Mr. Lushington had 
made up his mind at once to inform his 
nephew, of what he was convinced was 
the truth with regard to Mr. Elsmere's 
will ! But Eustace, not having courage 
to tear himself away from Lucy, had re- 
mained till so late an hour in the draw- 
ing-room ^ith her, that her father post- 
poned his communication till the next 
day — and that next day never came ! — 

It must be said to the honour of Lady 
Emilv, that she now did all she could to 
repair the mischief in which she had been 
an accomplice, and assist poor Lucy in 
bearing the heavy weight of self-reproach 
which now nearly crushed her ; and also 
in some degree to rescue her from the 
never-ceasing torture of her mother's 
animadversions. When Mrs. Lushing- 

VOL. II. R 



242 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

ton tormented her poor suffering daughter 
with constant invitations to balls and as- 
semblies, or arranged with LadyEainsforth 
for her accompanying her to the opera, or 
some such worldly evening amusement, 
Lady Emily, pretending Lucy's previous 
engagements with herself, took her long 
drives into the country, and generally de- 
tained her until so late an hour that by 
the time she returned to Stanhope- street, 
Mrs. Lushington had set out for some 
of her usual card parties, and her weary 
daughter, in consequence, found peace in her 
bed. And many a summer evening that 
year was a boat seen to glide noiselessly up 
and down the river Thames, at Eichmond, 
containing always the same two figures, 
and it often lingered on, even until the 
moon ghttered on its rippled waters ; and 
these two (apparently) silent, abstracted 
companions were Lady Emily MaxAvell 
and her dejected young friend Lucy Lush- 
ington. In short, Lady Emily applied 
herself most indefatigably to the task of 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 243 

soothing poor Lucy's wounded spirit, as 
far as her acquaintance with such sorrows, 
and their remedies, enabled her to do so ; 
but she was lacking in the *' one thing, 
needful," the only remedy for such mental 
sickness, as that under which Lucy then 
languished. There was but one being — 
she had but one friend who could have 
administered the soul-healing medicine 
which she then needed, and it was that 
very friend whose absence now caused her 
desolation — Cousin Eustace ! 

Kindness, however, could not but be 
grateful to so loving, so gentle, a heart as 
Lucy's ; and she clung to Lady Emily, as 
to the only being to whom she could 
speak of her affliction — her remorse. 
From her mother, she actually shrank with 
nervous terror ; and her father, although 
meaning all that was kind, and although 
still mourning over his altered Lucy and 
his banished nephew, had, after that first 
moment of excited feelings on his account 
were over, relapsed into his habitual cold, 



244 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

abstracted reserve ; evidently avoiding all 
subjects wliich conld possibly recall the 
past, agitate liis daughter, and throw him- 
self off his guard. 

Seeing how little improvement in looks, 
health, or spirits, a few weeks had effected 
with respect to Lucy, and with what 
horror she shrank from those amusements, 
which Mrs. Lushington was ever pressing 
upon her, Lady Emily proposed taking her 
with her to Tunbridge, for a short time. 
For the London season was now drawing 
to a close, and the gay world of fashion 
dispersing fast. Mrs. Lushington was so 
heartily tired of Lucy's pale face, and de- 
pressed spirits, she readily gave her consent 
to the proposed plan, wondering what pos- 
sessed the girl to make such a to-do about 
a cousin being gone to India. " Bless 
me," said she, " people's cousins go to the 
East and West Indies, and even to the 
North Pole, every day, and their relations 
at home do not all find it necessary to go 
to Tunbridge in consequence ! However, if 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 245 

Lady Emily is so kind as to be willing to 
be troubled with you, I am sure / can 
have no objection;" and Mrs. Lushing- 
ton ended with devoutly hoping Lucy 
might pick up some new lover at Tun- 
bridge, and so be brought to her senses. 

Mr. Lushington warmly thanked Lady 
Emily for her kindness to his poor altered 
Lucy, and the more warmly, when recol- 
lecting the manner in which he had once 
spoken to her. But that was a moment 
neither wished to recall, and to which 
neither ever alluded. 

It is impossible to say with what thank- 
fulness Lucy prepared for her departure 
from Stanhope-street, where every room, 
every chair, every object recalled him 
whom she had driven from it — the friend 
who would never be there again ! 

" Well, Lucy," said Mr. Lushington, as 
he put his daughter into Lady Emily's 
carriage, " make haste and get stout and 
well, and then when you return you will 
be able to be of use to me, you know — to 
write for me." 



246 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Tears started into Lucy's eyes, for at' 
once the image of Eustace seated at her 
father's writing-table, his sHm pale hand, 
her ring still upon it, all rushed upon her 
memory, and she and her companion had 
driven several miles on their road to Tun- 
bridge, before Lucy recollected even that 
she had a companion ! 

Lady Emily was a decidedly agreeable 
woman, and she found several agreeable 
acquaintances at Tunbridge, who all took 
great interest in her young charge. The 
hfe they there led was quite different 
from any Lucy had ever led before, and 
that, together with the pretty scenery 
around, helped to compose her spirits and 
strengthen her nerves, and at times to 
divert her mind from the one painful 
image which was always before her — 
Eustace alone ! wandering over trackless 
seas, banished for ever to almost another 
world ! 

Sir Alexander Melville was a frequent 
visitor at Tunbridge. He had too much 
tact not to suit himself and his conversa- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 247 

tion to the present state of Lucy's mind 
and spirits. Eustace Grey now out of the 
way beyond seas, he need no longer turn 
into ridicule all that was good and sacred, 
and he appeared in consequence in a much 
more favourable light. He was now the 
master of the field. Lord Parnell, Mr. 
Clifford, all his competitors had disap- 
peared, and being therefore, as he thought, 
secure of the jDrize which he coveted, one 
which every day, from the desperate state 
of his worldly affairs, became more and 
more necessary, namely Lucy's fortune, he 
brought to the attack every power of 
pleasing which he possessed, and they 
were not a few. He also seldomer than 
formerly betrayed those ebullitions of 
temper when crossed in his purposes, 
which had not escaped Lucy's notice ; so 
that, altogether, she was reall}' and evi^ 
dently glad when he joined their party at 
Tunbridge, and accompanied them in their 
drives and expeditions to the various 
neighbouring scenes of attraction. 



248 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Summer was now gone, and autumn 
far advanced, and before winter Lady 
Emily and Mr. Maxwell were again to 
return to Italy. Lady Emily had become 
so much interested in her young friend, 
that she proposed applying to Mr. Lush- 
ington for permission that she might 
accompany them abroad. But to this, 
though most grateful to Lady Emily for 
her great kindness, Lucy decidedly ob- 
jected. " They are now at Elsmere," said 
she ; '' mamma wants me, and I wish to go 
there." 

" But surely," said Lady Emily, looking 
kindly into Lucy's face, " sm-ely it will 
be very dismal, very lonely for you at 
Elsmere ?" 

" Yes, I know it will," she replied, 
struggling with her tears, " but I wish 
to go there, I wish to get used to it all. 
It rnust all be got over you know ; Els- 
mere will be my home, indeed I hope it 
will, at least I hope we shall not continue 
to live in Stanhope-street." 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 249 

Lucy seemed so fixed in her purpose, 
Lady Emily did not insist, and with 
mutual regret the friends parted — Lady 
Emily setting out for Eome, and Lucy for 
the once happy home of her childhood. 

" Shall I give your love to your dear 
Pincio?" said Lady Emily, on taking 
leave of her young charge. 

" Oh yes," sighed Lucy, " and to the 
beautiful Colosseum !" 

But this last word was inaudible. 



250 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 



CHAPTEE XI. 

Lucy, on her arrival at Elsmere, found 
that some of the neighbours were then 
staying in the house, and she rejoiced that 
so it was, anything being better than a 
tete-a-tete with her mother. 

" Well, I am glad you are come back at 
last to make tea," said Mrs. Lushington, 
next morning at breakfast, '' for it is a 
terrible deal of trouble, indeed a fatigue 
that I am no way equal to uow ;" and 
she held to her nose a very magnificent 
enamelled embossed vinaigrette. "But 
no one thinks of me," she continued, in 
a peevish, victim-Hke tone; "people who 
take things patiently are never considered. 
It is only those who complain that are 
pitied," and Mrs. Lushington glanced 
across the table to Lucy. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 251 

"Very true indeed/' said one of the 
visitors, " and I am sure, dear Mrs. Lush- 
ington, you should take more care of your- 
self, and not do too much ; and now that 
Miss Lushington is come home, I hope 
you will spare yourself more." 

" Oh ! Lucy will never do anything, so 
I had better not look to her !" and then 
whispering to the guest next to her (but 
not so low but that Lucy heard her), " the 
fact is she was made such a fuss with in 
London, she is quite spoilt, and don't 
know her own mind now two minutes 
together, and thinks about nothing." 

"Ah, that is the way now with all 
young girls," said Mrs. Lushington's 
compassionate friend ; " it is the fault of 
the present system of education, it makes 
them all so delicate, and so nervous, and 
so I don't tnow what all, and they must 
go here and they must go there ' for a 
little change.' I am sure I never heard of 
little changes in my younger days !" 

When Mr. Lushington that morning 



252 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

left the breakfast-room, Lucy followed 
him. "Papa," said she, hurrying after 
him into the hall, " will you tell me at 
what time you will like me to come to you 
to — to write for you : at the usual hour ?" 
she added, in a lower tone. 

Mr. Lushington stopped, and turning 
towards her laid his hands on her shoulders, 
and looking stedfastly in her face for a 
minute, "You are a good girl, Lucy, a 
good girl, you deserve a better — " he 
stopped short, but still his eyes continued 
fixed upon hers till they filled with tears ; 
and then imprinting a kind kiss on her 
forehead, he added, in a dejected tone, 
" Not to-day, not to-day — you must rest 
from your journey." 

But it was not a day of rest to Lucy, 
either of body or mind ; she felt a sort of 
feverish hurry and anxiety to visit every 
object connected with former days and 
old association — to ''get over it all,'' as 
she had said to Lady Emily ; and the 
moment she could make her escape from 



THE OLD GREY CHrRCH. .253 

her mother and her visitors, she hurried 
out of the house, and went over the same 
ground which she and Eustace had to- 
gether trod the last evening of his resi- 
dence at Elsmere. First to her garden, 
it was now a tangled mass of weeds and 
overgro^Ti shruhs I In the little tool- 
shed at the back of the rustic seat (all the 
handiworks of Eustace of former days) 
were the saws, spades, and various tools he 
had used. Beyond the garden was the 
field where the ponies were kept, the one 
Eustace used to ride was dead ! Its (now 
solitary) companion, on perceiving Lucy, 
immediately hurried to the gate, stretching 
its neck over the bars for the accustomed 
piece of bread, its long torn shaggy mane 
and rough coat showing how much it had 
been neglected since the days when Lucy 
used to dress it up with gay bows of 
ribbon. From the garden the walk led to 
the door into the churchyard, but she had 
not courage to go that way, and turning 
to the right she wandered on into the 



254 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

village. As she passed the school-house 
the church clock struck twelve, and the 
next minute the door was thrown open, 
and out rushed the village children, tear- 
ing, hallooing, and scrambling one over 
another in the joy of their young hearts. 
Lucy stood for a while watching them as 
they disappeared into their several homes, 
and their gay, blithesome voices gradually 
died away. She was about to return home, 
when a lady and gentleman came out of 
the school-house, followed by two little 
girls. He was evidently, by his dress, a 
clergyman, and of course Mr. Woodford's 
successor in the Hving. A pang shot 
through Lucy's heart. " Oh, Eustace, 
Eustace," she ejaculated to herself, " had 
it not been for me you would now have 
been — ! Oh, forgive me, forgive me I" 
Lucy hurried away, and without plan or 
object, but to be alone, she wandered about 
for long, lost in painful recollections and 
self-upbraidings. 

The next day was Sunday — a sad, 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 255 

wearisome day in a country house with 
stranger visitors ! The barouche was 
ordered to take Mrs. Lushington and her 
friends to church — for church is a decidedly 
good thing to do on Sunday, as it disposes 
of the morning till luncheon, which, 
without crochet, and cross stitch, and 
knitting needles, and httle books ^vith 
knitting patterns, sometimes hangs so 
heavy on hand ! and besides, Mrs. Lushing- 
ton made a point of going to church once 
a day when in the country, for the sake of 
example. 

" Come, Lucy, let us two walk to 
church together," said her father, as he 
drew her arm within his. 

Xever before, strange to say, had Lucy's 
arm hung on her father's ; and at that 
moment her nerves were almost too weak 
to stand the smallest agitation, even the 
smallest kindness. A\^en they reached 
the door leading into the churchyard, the 
bell was still ringing, the congregation 
stiU flocking in. " We are in plenty of 



256 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

time," said Mr. Lushington ; " let us 
take a turn in the cliurcliyard before we 
go in. I wisli to show you something I 
have had done ;" and Mr. Lushington 
immediately turned down into a path 
which led to the opposite side of the 
burying-ground, and which Lucy knew 
would take them to that very spot where 
she and Eustace had exchanged their 
rings, where he had told her of his" 
delightful dream. 

" Oh, no, not that way, papa !" said 
she, drawing back. 

" Yes, yes," said Mr. Lushington, his 
own object alone in view. " This is the 
right way — the way to your poor brothers' 
grave," he added, in a lower tone. "I 
have had a monument erected to their 
memory, and I wish to show it to you." 

Lucy could say no more, and went on 
in silence. The pathway was narrow, as 
the grave-stones on either side came so 
close to it. On passing the one that 
poor Lucy so dreaded seeing, her dress 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 257 

caught on the broken edge of the stone 
slab, on the very spot where Eustace had 
that evening sat ! She shuddered, and 
involuntarily drew nearer to her father, 
hurrying her pace. ]\Ir. Lushington felt 
the trembling of her hand on his arm, but 
he took no notice. " There," said he, 
as they came to a newly-erected stone 
monument, "there is what I have had 
done. I hope you like it." 

So many painful recollections crowded 
into Lucy's mind, all connected with 
Eustace, that her tears fell fast. Her 
father, of course, attributed them to a 
most natural cause, and was no way 
surprised. But Lucy might have said, in 
the words of Shakspeare : — 

" Oh, were that all ! 1 think not on my brothers, 
And these great tears grace their rememhrance more 
Than those I shed for them. What were they like? 
I have forgot them I" 

The father and daughter stood for some 
time together in silence beside the sculp- 
tured monument. The bell stopped. 

VOL. TT s 



258 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

" Poor Charles !" sighed Mr. Lushington, 
as he turned away from the grave — " Poor 
Charles !" 

The service was very well performed, 
but the voice was totally unlike the voice 
of Eustace. The sermon was an excellent, 
plain, practical sermon, but it was quite 
different from the sermon Lucy had heard 
in Quebec-street Chapel. As she looked 
towards the communion-table, and up at 
the pulj)it, the form of Eustace in imagi- 
nation rose before her. '' From thence," 
thought she, '' would that voice — that 
much-loved voice — have been heard this 
very day, perhaps, had not I — " 

Lucy had been quite right in her 
surmises respecting the person whom she 
had seen the day before at the school ; it 
was the new incumbent, Mr. Russell. 
Pie was between forty and fifty ; in every 
way an unexceptionable parish priest, 
steering most judiciously between the 
high and low church party extremes ; 
indefatigable in the discharge of his 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 259 

parochial duties, and with quite sufficient 
talents and eloquence for the congregation 
he had to address ; and Mrs. Eussell was 
every way fitted to be his helpmate, being 
interested and active in the schools and 
charities, a constant visitor of the sick 
and afflicted, and withal of a cultivated 
mind and lady-like manners. 

Mr. Lushington next morning, almost 
immediately after breakfast, summoned 
Lucy into his study, and kept her on with 
him till the afternoon was so far advanced, 
that the barouche, with Mrs. Lushington 
and her visitors, had driven from the door 
for their usual morning excursion, and 
Lucy was thus, to her relief, left to her- 
self; and she, on the whole, felt happier 
that morning than she had done for long ; 
for she had been fulfilling the last injunc- 
tion Eustace had given her. She had 
been " of use to her father." She put on 
her cloak and bonnet, and almost un- 
consciously again took the way to the 
village. How she wished to speak to the 

s 2 



260 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

poor people as she met tliem ! How she 
wished to go into their cottages ! But 
she knew nothing about any of them, and 
she felt shy and afraid. As she passed 
the school-house on her way home, the 
door of it was half open, and she heard the 
voices of the children within singing their 
evening hymn. She went nearer, and 
stood and listened. She longed to go in, 
she felt so solitary — so unconnected with 
any human being — so alone. Mr. Eussell 
had apparently observed her, for he came 
out of the school, and raising his hat, 
" Miss Lushington, I believe ?" said he, 
with a kind, welcoming smile. " Will you 
not come in and hear our little choir ? 
Pray come in." Lucy willingly accepted 
his invitation. " Here is Miss Lushing- 
ton, Maria," said he, going up to his wife, 
(who appeared to be teaching the children 
their hymn) ; " slie will like to hear our 
young performers, so mrtke them sing it 
again ;" and Lucy was given a seat by 
the side of Mrs. Eussell. The hymn 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 261 

ended, Mr. Russell made a sliort prayer, 
and dismissed the cliildren with the usual 
blessing ; when they again dispersed with 
the same shouts of joyous gaiety. 

" How happy they seem !" said Lucy, 
in a low, dejected tone. 

*' Yes," replied Mr. Russell, " they know 
nothing of this life. As yet, their greatest, 
severest trial is the necessity of keeping 
quiet in school. How merciful is that order 
of Pro^adence,"he continued, "which shuts 
out the future from our view !" 

" It would be happy for us," said 
Lucy, in a low, tremulous voice, " if we 
could shut out the past also." 

Mr. Russell turned quickly towards 
her. " Your past, Miss Lushington," 
said he, looking earnestly at her, " cannot 
be a long retrospect, and scarcely, I should 
think, a sorrowful one." Lucy coloured, 
and did not reply. She regretted she 
had thoughtlessly made the remark. 
" Perhaps," continued Mr. Russell, " the 
reason that our first sorrows make so 
great an impression upon us is, that all is 



262 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

SO very bright, so suniiy around and within 
US that these mere passing shadows appear 
the darker, and we in consequence mistake 
them for actual thunder-clouds." 

Lucy made no comment, and Mr. 
Eussell, observing that she seemed to 
wish to drop the subject, said no more ; 
but after a moment he in a cheerful tone 
added, "Our schoolmistress is just now 
disabled by illness ; so my wife and little 
girls are doing duty for her; we should 
be much gratified. Miss Lushington, if 
you would occasionally, as you pass by, 
look into the school, and I dare say you 
could help us much, especially with the 
singing ; and some new jDcrson, taking 
interest in what they are doing, en- 
courages the children, as well as their 
teachers." Lucy, her colour heightening 
in her cheeks, expressed her wilhngness 
but total inabihty to be of use in any way, 
" but I shall thankfully come to be taught 
myself, if you will allow me," she added. 

Mrs. Lushington having next morning, 
after breakfast, detained Lucy in the draw- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 263 

ing-room, writing notes of in^dtation to 
some of the neighbours, she, while seahng 
them, and without looking up, summoning 
courage, suddenly said, " Mamma, have 
you ever called upon Mrs. Eussell?" 

" Upon who ?" said Mrs. Lushington. 

" Mrs. Eussell," Lucy repeated in a 
lower tone. 

" And who in the world is Mrs. Eus- 
sell, pray ?" 

" She is the clergyman's wife, mamma." 

" The clergyman's wife ! Xo, to be 
sure, I have not called upon her. Why 
should I ?" 

" Oh, I thought, perhaps," said Lucy, in 
a still more uncertain voice, — '' I thought, 
as the wife of the clergyman of the parish, 
that, perhaps, it was customary." 

" What !" said Mrs. Lushington, with 
an expression of almost derision on her 
face ; " what ! have you got hold of another 
parson, Lucy ? Well, I must say, your pre- 
dilection for parsons is really quite beyond 
my comprehension ! And T am sure it is 



264 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

quite pro^ddential that, in this case, he is, 
by what you say, a married man ; other- 
wise you would probably be falling in 
love with him too ! And you expect I 
shall visit all their wives ! but that I 
certainly shall not do. I will not encou- 
rage any such very improper familiarity 
with persons of quite a different calibre of 
society from myself — probably a trades- 
person's or farmer's daughter, or some 
such low person ; so I beg you will keep 
your friends to yourself, Lucy, since you 
prefer that sort of company ; for my part 
I like somethino^ better." 

Lucy had so dreaded a prohibition with 
regard to forming any acquaintance even 
herself with Mr. and Mrs. Eussell, that she 
was most thankful for the sort of tacit per- 
mission which she thought her mother's 
words gave her (taunting as they were) 
to cultivate the society of those, who, in 
her present peculiar mental solitude, she 
would have been so loth to give up. She, 
therefore, said no more on the subject of 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 265 

Mrs. Russell, and contented herself with 
repah'ing to the school, whenever she could 
make her escape from home, at those 
hours when she knew that Mr. and Mrs. 
Russell would prohablj be there. For 
she liked to hear him examine the chil- 
dren in the Bible, although each time she 
did so, she was the more humbled in her 
own eyes, from her sense of entire igno- 
rance of that word of Grod given to 
man to make him wise unto salvation. 
The children used to read a chapter, and 
then closing their books, Mr. Russell 
questioned them not onl}^ on what they 
had just read, but on the references, pro- 
phecies, and promises connected with the 
subject, thus showing how the Old Testa- 
ment, by its types, prophecies, and reli- 
gious ceremonies, taught the great doc- 
trines of the Christian religion centuries 
before the Saviour came upon earth, and 
how one Divine overruhng Spirit dictated 
the whole of the Bible. — And all this 
these poor village children knew ! and of 



26b THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

all this Lucy Lushington was perfectly 
ignorant ! 

After eacli of these school-teachings, 
Lucy, on her return home, eagerly flew 
to her Bible, and looked out and marked 
all the references and quotations until 
she became deeply interested in the study, 
so that she truly " searched " the Scriptures, 
feehng the truth of those words of her Sa- 
viour, "They are they which testify of me." 

What a new mental existence now 
opened to poor Lucy ! How deeply did 
she deplore all the time she had hitherto 
lost ! The instructor she had lost ! For- 
tunately Mrs. Lushington scarcely ever 
came np to Lucy's room; for had she 
done so, she would probably have been 
more and more convinced, that she had, 
indeed, fallen in love with another parson ; 
when seeing her table covered, not with 
circulating library novels, as in former 
days, but with the various books of re- 
ference and religious instruction lent her 
by Mr. Eussell. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 267 



CHAPTEE XII. 

On one of those afternoons, when Lucy- 
had made her escape from the visitors at 
home, she fomid the school children read- 
ing the 11th chapter of 2nd Corinthians, in 
which chapter St. Paul dwells upon all 
the perils, difficulties, and hardships he 
underwent in preaching the gospel to the 
heathen. Mr. Eussell had, on the previous 
Sunday, given notice that there would be 
a collection in church on the next, for 
" the propagation of the Gospel in foreign 
parts ;" and he had chosen that chapter of 
Corinthians for this afternoon's instruc- 
tion to the children, in order to explain 
to them, in simple terms, the natm-e, pur- 
port, and object of the Society — illustra- 
ting the subject by various anecdotes in 



268 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

tlie lives of missionaries now. The usual 
hymn was sung, the usual prayer offered 
up, the usual blessing implored, and the 
children rushed as usual out of the school 
— the sound of their joyous young voices 
gradually dying away in the distance ; 
but Lucy did not move from her seat, 
which was a little behind that which Mr. 
Eussell occupied. The book, in which she 
had been reading the chapter, from which 
Mr. Eussell had spoken, still lay open 
before her, her head bent down over it so 
that her face was concealed. 

On dismissing the children, Mr. Russell 
had returned to his seat, and his mind 
had apparently returned to the subject on 
which he had been speakins^ to them : for 
he almost immediater resumed ; — " How 
strikingly applicable are those words of 
St. Paul to the hardships, labours, and, 
indeed, the perils of our missionaries now. 
Really, when I compare my existence, with 
all its home blessings and comforts, with. 
those of so many of my devoted brethren, 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 269 

I feel humbled to the dust. Here am I 
in a perfect paradise of a home, surrounded 
by all the enjoyments and endearments of 
life, at ease both in body and mind ; while 
so many of my countrymen are, like St. 
Paul, in daily, hourly jeopardy — ' In perils 
in the wilderness ; in perils in the sea ; in 
weariness, in painfulness, in hunger and 
thirst, in fastings and cold I' And all this 
for the sake of Christ and perishing souls ! 
We admire the courage — the self-devotion 
of the soldier, ready to lay down his life 
for his country : but that is nothing to 
the heroism of the soldier of Christ. He 
leaves his home, his country, his friends, 
all he loves — never probably to return — 
to perish unknown, unmarked among 
heathens ! Oh, his is a glorious career I 
and m'eat will be his reward 1" 

Durincf all this time Mr. Eussell had 
been so entirely engrossed by the subject 
on which he was speaking, and his atten- 
tion so fixed on the page before him, 
wherein the labours and sufferings of the 



270 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

apostle are described, that lie had not 
noticed, or indeed thought of Lucy, whose 
head had fallen lower and lower over the 
Testament that lay open before her. 

" I chanced," Mr. Eussell continued, 
to be in London, four or five months ago, 
when there was an ordination at St. Paul's 
of seven young men, all then about to leave 
England as missionaries. It was a most 
impressive, affecting sight. I looked with 
admiration, I may say veneration, on those 
self-devoted Christian heroes, in the prime 
of life, renouncing every dear tie of affec- 
tion, for hardships and sufferings which 
we at home have no idea of; indeed, which 
not many, I fear, long survive ! There was 
one of these seven young men who particu- 
larly attracted my attention. I never saw 
a countenance expressive of such deep feel- 
ing, such high resolve, I may say such 
self-annihilation 1 By-the-by," added Mr. 
Eussell, after a moment's apparent thought, 
'' I now recollect that I was told the person 
I allude to had had the offer of this very 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 271 

living of Elsmere ! Periiaps, Miss Lnsh- 
ington, jou may liave heard of him ; his 
name, I think, was Grey ?" and Mr. Eus- 
sell turned toward Lucy. 

The most heart-breaking sobs was all 
the answer he received. He was greatly 
shocked. " Dear Miss Lushington !" said 
he, starting up and seizing her trembling 
hand, "what have I said? Perhaps he 
was a friend — a relation of yours ? Oh, 
pardon me ! pardon me !" 

Poor Lucy's sobs only became the more 
distressing. Mrs. EusseU hastened to 
her. Everything which kindness could 
suggest was said and done to soothe her. 
By degrees she became more composed. 
Her tears stole slowly, quietly down her 
face, as her head lay on ]Mi's. Eussell's 
bosom. 

" I shall never forgive myself," said Mr. 
Eussell, his voice faltering, "for having 
touched, too rudely, perhaps, some sore 
place in your heart ; for having so abruptly 
named a dear friend from whom you have 



272 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

parted : but think of his glorious destina- 
tion ! think of his high reward ! of such 
we may be sure are the kingdom of heaven. 
For are we not told that ' there is no man 
that hath left house or brethren, or sisters, 
or father or mother, or wife, or children, or 
lands, for my sake and the Gospel's, but he 
shall receive an hundred-fold now, and in 
the world to come eternal Hfe/ We may 
never see them again here below, but we 
may look with certainty to meeting them 
in that future world, where ' there will be 
no more parting, no more sorrow, and 
where all tears will be wiped away from 
all faces.' " Mr. Eussell fell upon his 
knees, and put up a most fervent prayer 
to the throne of Grace in behalf of that 
self-devoted, absent friend — an exile in 
a distant world — for a blessing on his 
labours, and for consolation to his sorrow- 
ing friends at home. Lucy held out her 
hand to Mr. Eussell as expressive of her 
thanks ; she could not speak. 

Mr. Eussell never reverted with Lucy 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 273 

to this evidently painful subject : but a 
sacred tie seemed now to be established 
between them ; she felt him to be the only 
person who knew the secret of her inward, 
altered self; and although Eustace was 
never named, and in no way even alluded 
to, yet she now had one to whom she 
could open her heart ; before whom she 
need not stifle her tears ; for he could now 
read and understand many a but half- 
spoken sorrowful word, which had fre- 
quently before almost unconsciously fallen 
from her lips, but which, from having no 
clue to their source, he did not even un- 
derstand, and to which, therefore, he 
knew not how to administer. 

" I think I had better now go home," 
said Lucy to Mrs. Eussell, as she took her 
hand in hers, attempting, but in vain, to 
express her gratitude for all her kindness. 

"Shall I walk home with you?" asked 
Mrs. Eussell, "or had you rather be 
alone ?" 

'* Alone," said Lucy ; "I had better be 

VOL. II. T 



274 THE OLD GREY CHERCH. 

alone ;" and then turning to Mr. Eussell, 
" Thank you, thank you from the bottom 
of my heart," said she, in a scarcely audible 
voice ; '' you have done me good ;" and so 
sa}dng Lucy left the school, and turning 
down into a path seldom frequented, across 
some fields, she disappeared. 

" How much that poor girl interests 
me !" said Mr. Eussell to his wife as they 
walked home : " it was most unfortunate 
my allusion to her friend ; and yet, on the 
whole I am not sorry all this has occurred, 
for I may be of use to her, and I suspect 
she is alone in her own family. Poor 
thing ! may the Almighty direct and com- 
fort her. I fear she has a sore heart !" 

Lucy wandered about in the lanes and 
fields which surrounded the village of 
Elsmere, until she had recovered her usual 
composure. On reaching home, she went 
straight up to her own room, and imme- 
diately taking up her little Testament (the 
bright gilt leaves of which no longer now, 
as formerly, stuck together), she marked 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 275 

in it lith 2nd Ccrinthians. There was 
a page in that same small Testament, at 
which the book seemed always to open of 
itself; it was at that page which Eustace 
had marked — on which his hand had laid 
• — from which his text had been taken that 
Sunday when Lucy had heard him preach : 
— "Love not the world." 

On the following^ Sunday morning, the 
day on which there was to be the collec- 
tion for the propagation of the G-ospel 
abroad, Lucy stood for some time gazing 
vacantly out of the drawing-room window 
towards the church (whose tall grey spire 
was visible above the surrounding trees, 
and from which the deep tolling bell was 
then calling all to morning-service), doubt- 
ing whether or no she had courage to obey 
the summons. Her father observed her. 
" Well, Lucy," said he, " are you not going 
to get ready ? "We shall be too late ; and 
I hate to attract attention when I go into 
church ; but if you will be quick, I wiU 
wait for you." 

T 2 



276 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Lucy had not courage, nor indeed had 
she then time, to explain her reasons for 
wishing to stay at home that morning, and 
she therefore immediately prepared to 
attend her father. As they walked on, 
side by side, she longed to remind him of 
Mr. Russell's intended sermon that day, 
but each time her courage failed her, until, 
on reaching the door which led into the 
churchyard from the shrubbery, while Mr. 
Lushington was busying himself unlocking 
it, she, in a breathless voice, said, ''Do 
you remember, papa, the notice which Mr. 
Russell gave last Sunday, about the sermon 
to-day ?" 

" Notice ? no ; what was it about ?" 

" About the Society for the preaching of 
the Gospel abroad." 

" Well, and what have I to do with 
that ? I don't belong to that Society. I 
know nothing about the matter." 

" The missionaries you know, papa — 
Eustace ! " 

"What — who!" eagerly inquired Mr. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 277 

Lushington, turning quickly round to- 
wards liis daughter, for the name of 
Eustace always startled him. "Is he any 
way connected with the sermon ?" 

" Mr. Eussellwill, I dare say, explain," 
said Lucy, in a scarcely audible voice. 

" Well, I will listen, and try and 
attend." 

And Mr. Lushington did attend; his 
eyes were never off the preacher, and 
the subject had apparently 23ecuharly 
interested and excited Mr. Eussell's feel- 
ings, so that his appeal was most im- 
pressive. The father and daughter again 
walked home together, but neither of 
them spoke, and in silence they parted at 
the house door. 

That evening a letter from the Manor 
House was delivered to Mr Eussell ; it 
contained a draft for £100, with Mr. 
Lushington' s compliments. As for poor 
Lucy, she had emptied her purse into the 
plate, and never before had such a sum 
been raised at that village church as was 



278 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

collected that day for the furtherance of 
the Christian religion among the be- 
nighted heathens. 

"I really thought Mr. Eussell would 
never have done," said Mrs. Lushington, 
as she drove home with her guests. " Such 
a long, tiresome story as he told us. I 
shall really beg of Mr. Lushington to 
give him a hint not to preach such 
desperate long sermons ; it is so weari- 
some, and ill-judged, too, for it only puts 
one to sleep ; and vvhat it was all about I 
am sure I have not the smallest idea ; in 
short, he has really prosed on till I feel 
quite faint and ill." And Mrs. Lushing- 
ton had again recourse to her embossed, 
enamelled vinaigrette. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 279 



CHAPTEE XIII. 

November, the period fixed upon by Mr. 
Lusliington for the return of the family to 
towTi, was now fast approaching, for it 
was more convenient to him to reside 
there in winter on account of his necessary 
attendance at the banking-house. But 
poor Lucy's heart sank within her at the 
prospect of the blank solitude of Stanhope - 
street, and all its many painful recollec- 
tions and associations. 

She had now so many occupations and 
interests at Elsmere, that they, by filling 
up the hours as they passed, almost made 
up to her for the want of actual enjoyment. 
Mr. and Mrs. EusseU had helped her to 
make acquaintance with the poor of the 
village ; she no longer now felt shy and 



280 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

afraid of tliem, and had thus found among 
them constant occupation, not only in 
administering to their bodily necessities, 
but by soothing their sorrows, and raising 
their hopes to another and better world. 
" And this was the life to which I had 
looked with so much dread, so much 
repugnance, and to avoid which I cast 
from me my best, my dearest friend. Oh, 
Eustace ! you are well avenged !" 

Such were Lucy's thoughts one after- 
noon when, towards dusk, she retm-ned 
home. On entering the hall she was im- 
mediately accosted by one of the servants 
informing her that Mrs. Lushington 
wanted her in the drawing-room, and that 
a gentleman was with her. 

Oh, to what wild impossibilities does a 
stricken heart sometimes almost uncon- 
sciously catch ! Nothing could be less 
possible than Eustace having arrived at 
Elsmere ! nothing more improbable than 
(had ever such a miracle been wrought in 
her behalf) that her mother would have 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 281 

sent for lier to welcome liim ! But at 
tliat startling announcement none of these 
improbabilities or impossibilities struck her. 
Her heart beat to suiFocation, every pulse 
throbbed, and she had scarcely strength to 
proceed. The servant threw open the 
drawing-room door. It was by tliis time 
nearly dark ! she saw the figure of a man 
in black — the figure moved towards her — 
it addressed her — but it was not the voice 
of Eustace ! — A cold, faint sensation came 
over poor Lucy ; she could not speak, and 
was forced to catch hold of the nearest 
chair to save herself from falling. 

" Why, Lucy," said Mrs. Lushington, 
coming up to her, "what in the world is 
the matter mth you ? you seem quite 
bewildered ! why will you stay out so 
late ? and what have you been doing to 
put yourself so out of breath ? Here is 
Sir Alexander Melville, our old Eoman 
acquaintance, and he has news of Lady 
Emily for you." 

Sir Alexander came up to Lucy, and 



282 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

held out liis hand: scarcely conscious 
what she did, she mechanically put hers 
into it, but what he said to her, or what 
she answered, she had no idea ; and she 
was too completely overpowered even to 
be distressed at the strange agitation into 
which she had been betrayed, and at the 
possible interpretation to be given to it by 
others. 

Mrs. Lushington was all pressing ci- 
vility to Sir Alexander — insisted on 
his dismissing his carriage, and having 
his luggage immediately taken out and 
brought into the house, ordered his large 
retriever dog to be put into the charge of 
the coachman, with express injunctions 
respecting care and a good dinner ; she 
was so thankful he had come straight 
home instead of going round by St. 
Alban's as he had once intended doing, 
for she might have missed him, and she 
would have been so disappointed, so 
vexed, &c. &c. 

This fervour of kindness towards Sir 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 283 

Alexander was quite new on the part of 
Mrs. Lushington, and had not been at all 
anticipated by himself, for she had hitherto 
always endeavoured as far as she could to 
keep him in the background (having as 
yet aimed at higher game) : but poor Mrs. 
Lushington's soaring visions about earls, 
viscounts, and honourables had one by one 
all vanished, so that she now {faute de 
mieux) thankfully welcomed an old Scotch 
baronet in her most gracious manner; 
there was, however, at that moment 
another reason, a sort of under plot to 
account for her present pressing civilities 
to Sir Alexander. Several of her neigh- 
bours were that very day to dine at the 
Manor House, and there was such a 
preponderance of petticoats, so many 
mothers and daughters, old maiden aunts, 
nieces, and even cousins, who must all be 
included, (those eternal, tiresome aunts and 
cousins, why can't they either marry or 
stay at home ?) that poor Mrs. Lushington 
was at her wits end ; and when Sir Alex- 



284 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

ander was announced, she really looked 
upon Ills arrival as a positive interposition 
of Providence in her behalf ; and exulted 
in the idea of being taken down to dinner 
by the tall, good-looking, fashionable Sir 
Alexander Melville from far north in the 
Highlands (and for aught she knew a 
lineal descendant of one, or all, the kings 
of Scotland), instead of by little, short, fat 
Mr. Smith of Mount Pleasant, Herts. 
These same petticoat neighbours were to 
stay at the Manor House two or three 
days. Sir Alexander was pressed to do the 
same ; at first it was imjjossihle, but after 
some doubts and difficulties respecting 
pre-engagements (all got up at the mo- 
ment) he at last consented to tjy and put 
off all his other (imaginary) friends, and 
then he was established an inmate of 
Elsmere ! 

" Have you any message to Lady Emily, 
Miss Lushington," said he one morning 
after breakfast, "for I am going to write 
to her?" 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 285 

*' Oh, yes, my most grateful remem- 
brances," said Lucy ; " she has been so very 
— very kind to me." 

Sir Alexander seated himself at the 
library table, and the following letter was 
written and dispatched, directed to Lady 
Emily Maxwell, Semi's Hotel, Piazza d' 
Ispagna, Eome : — 

" Well, here I am, dear Lady Emily, 
according to your advice, at Elsmere 
Manor, having (as you also advised) taken 
the place by storm as well as stratagem. 
Nothing ever answered better than my 
manoeuvres, at least with regard to the 
magnificent Mrs. Lushington. She is all 
civility and kindness, quite different, in 
short, from what she has heretofore been 
to me, the reason of this change being, 
I suspect, that just now there are (at least 
apparently) no other aspirants — in short, a 
complete dearth of suitors; the shooters 
not having yet returned from the moors ! 
and I must own I was rather loth to 
tear myself away, I had such capital sport 



286 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

in the North. But I felt it my duty to 
myself to come and see what game I might 
find in the South while the coast was 
clear. — I really wish you could see mine 
hostess playing off the airs of the careless, 
easy, fine London lady on her country 
neighbours ; she is really impayahle, and I 
could almost fall in love with her myself 
for her delicious folly. 

" As for old Cerberus (Papa Lushington) 
he is more crabbed than ever, fit for nothing 
but to be chained up in his own stable-yard 
(and a capital watch-dog he would make). 
But now to the s^ing of the story — the 
pretty Lucy, although I hardly know what 
to say about her. She is grown thin, and 
is much paler than when in London ; hot 
rooms and late hours having apparently 
agreed wdth her better than Elsmere rural- 
ities do. But notwithstanding this loss of 
bloom, there is an air de sentirnejit over her 
whole pe?'S07ine and maintien, which greatly 
adds to her beauty, and which really, in 
spite of my self, attracts me strongly towards 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 287 

her, although it is plain she is, if jDOssihle, 
more impregnable than ever ; in short, it 
is evident that the tiresome, troublesome 
cousin (although, thank Heaven! now quite 
out of reach) is still in her mind. She has 
also, I suspect, donne dans la devotion. 
Ko great harm that, if she will keep her 
piety to herself, for young ladies must 
have a plaything of some sort, and if it is 
not religion it may be something worse. 
I thought I saw some incipient symptoms 
of that disease towards the end of the last 
London season ; it began with the sermon 
at Quebec-street Chapel, that Sunday 
when Lady Eainsforth would go and hear 
the interesting cousin with the ' beautiful ' 
voice preach ! 

" There seems, at present, to be no com- 
petitors for her fair hand (in other words 
purse), at least none worth thinking about, 
and one may trust to ^Irs. Lushington for 
keeping off all inferior sort of suitors ; but 
still I can't help fearing the time is not yet 
come for me to bring matters to a crisis by 



288 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

a regular declaration dans toutes les formes, 
and I dare not risk the chance (indeed I 
fear I may at this moment say the proha- 
hility) of a final No, by hurrying things 
too much. But then my finances unfortu- 
nately will admit of no delay. 

" This is really a very gentlemanlike 
sort of residence, with a good house and 
pretty country, and one might make a very 
comfortable home of it. But the place 
itself is rather neglected, as old Cerberus 
evidently takes no interest whatever in it. 
As far as her ladyship of Lushington is 
concerned, I believe I might stay on here 
as long as they do themselves, being both 
useful and ornamental at her side at 
dinner (for they talk of going to town 
before long for the winter) ; but to own the 
truth, I am rather in awe of old Cerberus, 
and afraid of his showing his teeth and 
growling me away if I stay too long ; and 
besides, I am sorry to add, I do not think 
I am getting on at all with the daughter. 
She don't dislike me, I almost wish she 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 289 

did (for I could soon get the better of that), 
but she evidently nothings me, and that 
is the most hopeless case of all ! I had, at 
the moment of my arrival, flattered myself 
it was quite the contrary, for I never saw- 
such a state of nervous agitation as she 
was in. T can't account for it, except that, 
having on a black coat, she, in the dark, 
took me at first for the reverend cousin. I 
suppose I should be flattered, for certainly 
the fellow is very good looking — plague 
on him ! — She is always interested when I 
talk to her of our old Eoman days, and I 
sometimes contrive to make her laugh 
(or perhaps, more correctly speaking, smile), 
but it is like a sudden gleam of sun in a 
stormy sky ; the clouds seem only to gather 
the thicker and darker after it, and there 
appears to be, in general, a total indiffer- 
ence about everybody and everything. 
She passes a good deal of her time in the 
village and at the schools and charities, at 
least so my servant tells me, from the 
report of the other servants ; so I try to 

VOL. II. u 



2^ THE OLD UREY CHURCH. 

raise myself to her level by talking about 
faith, hope, and charity by the hour ! but 
still I never can get beyond a certain point. 
I had a mind to try an experiment one 
day, and boldly asked after Pope Eustace, 
pretending entire ignorance a son sujet ; 
but I shall never try that again, for I was 
really frightened at the effect produced by 
my (I must own ill-judged) inquiry. It 
was at dinner, too, unfortunately. I 
thought the poor little thing would have 
dropped from her chair, her very lips were 
blanched; she, however, recovered by 
degrees, and my pity was so marvellously 
excited I was good-natured, and as well as 
I could prevented attention being attracted 
towards her. I believe Mrs. Lushington 
(who I saw had observed her daughter's 
agitation) thought it was a proposal on 
my part, for after dinner she bustled up 
to me with an inquiring, mysterious 
expression of face. So I talked to her of 
la pluie et le beau temps, and in a few 
minutes, crest fallen, she walked away. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 291 

" Well, we shall see how it wiU all be 
when the little Lucy comes to town, and 
we get her again into the vortex of balls and 
operas, and no reverend cousin to hold up 
his finger and cry imughty ! perhaps all 
this pretty rural country sentiment and 
religion will then pass away. But the 
worst is there is no time to lose as 
far as I am concerned; she must be 
brought-to soon, or I must cut and 
run. No rents — bad crops — clamorous 
creditors — in short, the devil ! 

" Your affectionate but ruined friend, 
" Alexander Melville/' 

" P.S. Could you not get up some 
masses for me at Eome ? not for my soul, 
but my purse, though it is hard to say 
which of the two is in the worst case, I 
believe !" 

The last week, the last day, of Lucy's 
stay at Elsmere had arrived, and with a 
sorrowful heart she went to bid Mr. 
and Mrs. Eussell farewell ; she had 
never been ^Hthin the parsonage, their 



292 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

meetings having always taken place either 
in the school or at the cottages; for 
after what Mrs. Lushington had said on 
the subject of visiting Mrs. Enssell, Lucy 
did not like to run the risk of displeas- 
ing her mother, and of being perhaps 
forbidden all future intercourse with her 
kind friends, by seeking them at their 
own home, and Mr. Eussell had too much 
tact and good feehng ever to propose what 
might draw her into difficulties. But 
before leaving Elsmere, Lucy wished to 
see what would have been the home of 
Eustace, what might have been her own ! 
She was shown into Mr. Eussell' s study. 
Sincere was the sorrow of her friends on 
hearing of the purport of her present visit. 
" I cannot say how sorry I am to go," 
said poor Lucy, tears starting into her 
eyes ; "I have been so peaceful here, and 
thanks to you I have found so much 
occupation, so much interest, which I had 
so little expected — so little hoped for 1 and 
I don't know what I shall do in London, 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 293 

for I liave no friend there — ." Lucy could 
not proceed. 

" Dear Miss Lushington," said Mr. 
Eussell, taking her hand, " remember our 
best friend is with us, wherever we are ; if 
we don't desert him, he will never forsake 
us. Look to him, trust in him." 

" But you have no idea how lonely I 
shall be 1" again sobbed Lucy ; " and that 
horrid London !" 

" You will be of use to your father," 
replied Mr. Eussell, "a comfort to him, 
and we are always happy when in the 
discharge of our duty ; and you will have 
leisure to read, which you always say you 
need, and see here," continued Mr. Eussell, 
in a cheerful tone, " what a library I have 
prepared for you," — and he led her to a 
table on which were collected the books 
he had promised to lend her — " and we 
will write to you and tell you how our 
school children are getting on, and how 
all your poor old sick friends bear your 
absence." 



294 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

"Will yon really?" said Lucy, her 
countenance brightening up ; " you don't 
know how kind that will be of you — how 
much pleasure you will give me." While 
thus speaking, Lucy's eyes had been wan- 
dering round the room. 

" And here Eustace would have lived !" 
she said to herself, " and here he would 
have sat and wrote — there would have been 
his books ! — and now — where is he ? amid 
perils, amid privations, amid suiferings, 
in solitude, perhaps in sickness ! and all 
my fault !" Poor Lucy could not endure 
the thoughts which crowded into her 
mind, and hastily rising from her seat she 
bid her kind friends farewell. 

Mr. EusseU could read all that was 
passing in her mind, and did not attempt 
to detain her. They accompanied her to 
the gate of the garden, and then, praying 
for God's blessing on their interesting 
young friend, they bade her farewell. 
Lucy did not return to the house by the 
road, but passing through the httle wicket- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 295 

gate, went into the churcliyarcl. She felt 
she must once more revisit it, not her 
brothers' grave, but that spot ever sacred 
in her memory ! 

The next clay she bid farewell to the 
home of her youth, and wdtli a heav}" 
heart returned to Stanhope-street. 

No one who has not lived in London, in 
the month of November, can have any idea 
of its sombre melancholy. The feeble win- 
try sun scarcely lighting up the dark 
gloom of its nearly empty streets, before it 
is gone, unable to contend with the fog 
and smoke. Its depressing solitude, so 
different from the solitude of the country, 
because seemingly unnatural when entirely 
surrounded by human habitations. 

And sohtary, indeed, was now poor 
Lucy's existence ! She had lost the only 
occupation which still interested her, and 
took her out of herself; and she was haunted 
by so many painful remembrances ! Her 
only pleasure was the hope of being of use 
to her father. Her happiest hours were 



296 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

those she passed in liis study (in the very 
chair in which Eustace used to sit) ; for 
she was then fulfilling his last injunction. 
The London world had not yet reassem- 
bled. Lady Eainsforth was going a round 
of Christmas parties at her fashionable 
friends' houses in the country. Lady 
Emily was still in Italy ; and with her 
former city friends, Mrs. Lushington had 
long since quarrelled, thinking they 
would be very troublesome acquaintances, 
now that she had got into the ''West 
End " bettermost society ; she was, there- 
fore, obliged to put up with second-rate 
card parties, at old superannuated dow- 
agers, who sought her company in order 
to make up their rubbers at whist. 

Sir Alexander Melville frequently made 
his appearance in Stanhope-street, when 
passing through London in his way to 
and from the country-houses of his nume- 
rous friends, and Mrs. Lushington always 
welcomed him, with her most gracious 
smiles (nothing better having yet cast 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 297 

up) ; but Mr. Lushington evidently shrank 
from him, as belonging to that world of 
fashion by which all his plans for the well- 
doing of his daughter and nephew had 
been overtlirown. Lucy seemed always con- 
tent to see him, but nothing more ; she 
still, in short, evidently " nothinged " him, 
and notwithstanding the many cogent rea- 
sons which Sir Alexander had for keeping 
his ground with the " magnificent " Mrs. 
Lushington, his temper could not brook 
the repulsive manners of her husband. 

Although Lucy did her utmost to be of 
use to her father as his secretary, she 
could not fill the place of Eustace as a 
companion ; and in order to spare his eyes 
during the present dark wintry days, Mr. 
Lushington had lately of an evening re- 
paired more frequently to the Athenaeum 
Club, to which he belonged ; and at this 
Lucy rejoiced, as he there met with his 
friends, and heard the news of the day, 
and was, in short, roused and refreshed 
in mind and body. 



298 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

"Here is a note from Mrs. Selw}m," 
said Mrs. Lnshington to Lucy, one 
morning after breakfast, " proposing that 
we should join in a box at Drury-lane this 
evening to see the new play ; and I think 
we can do no better, for really we lead 
a terrible dull life now here. The only 
thing is, we must dine* early, and that 
your father always ohjcotk to, as he wants, 
he says, to get all the daylight he can 
for his writing ; but perhaps he will ask 
Mr. Watson to come and keep him com- 
pany, unless he will go to his club. So 
go down, and see what he will do." 

Lucy went, and returned with the mes- 
sage that her father particularly wished to 
see Mr. Watson, and that he would send 
directly to Westminster, and try to catch 
him before he went to his daily duties at 
the Police Court, and secure his company 
for dinner. 

" Very well, then, that will all do nicely, 
and you and I will dine early — not later 
than five o'clock ; and mind and be ready.'' 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 299 

Lucy hated the very sound of the word 
" theatre' — it always brought to her mind 
so many painful recollections; but of 
course she could only comply with her 
mother's arrangements. She had not 
quite finished writing for her father when 
she was summoned to join Mrs. Lushing- 
ton in the dining-room, for their tete-a- 
tete repast ; so, hurrying back to the study 
the minute she could make her escape, 
she finished her task. Mr. Lushington 
bent down over her shoulder, just as it 
was completed : " Very well, indeed, 
Lucy, done in a very purpose like 
manner ; you are improving wonderfully ; 
you will soon really be almost as useful 
to me as — as poor Eustace,'' he added, 
with a deep sigh. 

Lucy took hold of her father's hand, 
and kissed it. " Thank you, dear papa," 
she said, after a minute wiping off a tear 
which had fallen upon it ; " thank you." 

"It is /who should rather thank you'' 
said Mr. Lushington, with a smile, "and 



300 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

I do thank you," and he then added, in a 
tone of unusual kindness, " you are a dear 
good girl, Lucy. May God bless you !" 

At that moment the servant came to 
say, that Mrs. Lushington was in the car- 
riage waiting for her. Lucy threw her 
arms round her father's neck. " Dear, 
dear papa," she cried, " I again thank you." 
And with flushed cheeks and tears trem- 
bling in her eyes, Lucy hurried away to 
join her mother, and they proceeded to 
the theatre. 

It was a new play, with the many delays 
incident on a first performance, and there 
were, in addition, the endless entertain- 
ments so liberally bestowed upon the 
public for the benefit of holiday school- 
boys at Christmas times. It was besides 
a rainy night, and in consequence there 
was great confusion among the carriages 
(for those matters were not so weU ar- 
ranged five-and-twenty years ago, as they 
are now), so that altogether it was not 
till very late that Mrs. Lushington and 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 301 

Lucy got back to Stanliope-street. The 
bed-room candles were placed for them 
ready lit at the bottom of the staircase, 
the lamps being all burnt out. 

"Is your master gone to bed?" in- 
quired Mrs. Lushington, of Lambert, the 
head servant. (Mr. Lushington' s bed- 
room being on the ground-floor.) 

" No, ma'am, he is not yet come home." 

" Not come home ! Where is he gone 
to?" 

" To the club— to Pall MaU," said the 
butler. " Mr. Watson, after all, did not 
come here at all ; he sent an excuse just 
about seven o'clock, to say he was detained 
by business ; so my master went to the 
club, as soon as he had had his 'dinner." 

" Mamma, had we not better stop the 
carriage, and send it to Pall Mall for 
him ?" said Lucy, evidently uneasy at her 
father's unusually late absence. '' It is 
raining so hard, perhaps he can't get a 
conveyance home." 

" Yes," said Mrs. Lushington, carelessly, 
" it will do no harm." 



302 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

The footman was sent to recall the 
carriage, which was on its way to the 
stables, and it was ordered to the club- 
house in Pall Mall. 

" I dare say he will soon be home," said 
Mrs. Lushington, yawning; "and I am 
so tired with our desperate long evening's 
entertainment, and the hard, upright 
benches, I shall go to bed. Good-night." 
And so saying Mrs. Lushington went up 
stairs to her own room. 

" I never knew papa so late," thought 
Lucy to herself, as she looked up at the 
clock which stood on the stairs, and saw 
it was past one ; " it is very odd !" and in- 
stead of repairing to her own apartment 
she went into the drawing-room, leaving 
the door which led to the top of the stairs 
open, in order to hear whatever might 
pass in the hall below. There is a pecu- 
liar dismal, desolate look about a drawing- 
room after the part which it played during 
the day is over. The fires and lights all 
gone out, the appearance of recent habi- 
tation by' the chairs and tables being in 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 303 

confusion about, contrasting so strangely 
with its present death-like stillness and 
desertion. Lucy put down her candle (the 
feeble light of which scarcely reached to 
the end of the room) on the nearest 
table, and sat listening to every noise. 

Now and then the sound of carriage - 
wheels made her start up, but one after 
the other they all drove by or kept 
straight on in South Audley-street, their 
sound gradually dying away. Thus 
passed nearly an hour, and the carriages 
became fewer and fewer as night advanced. 
At length again the welcome sound of 
wheels rattling on the pavement was 
heard ; it came nearer and nearer. Lucy 
unbarred the shutter and threw up the 
window-sash. A carriage drove up to the 
door, and by the glimmer of the nearly- 
extinguished lamp at the door-post, she 
recognised the coachman's livery. She 
rushed to the top of the stairs and down 
the first flight, sure, as she thought, of 
hearing her father's step in the hall ; but 



/ 



304 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

instead of that welcome sound, she conld 
only distinguish the voices of the butler 
and footman in apparent consultation. 
She ran down. " Where is my father ?" 
she eagerly inquired of Lambert, who 
came to meet her at the foot of the stairs ; 
"have they not been to PaU MaU?" 

"Yes, ma'am, but Edward maintains 
that Mr. Lushington is not there, and 
that the servant at the club says he left 
the house fully four hours ago with ano- 
ther gentleman in a hackney-coach ; that 
the gentleman gave his own orders to the 
driver out of one of the front windows of 
the carriage, so that he does not know 
where they went. Edward now recol- 
lected,'* continued the butler, "that be- 
tween nine and ten o'clock a person rang 
at our door and asked for my master, and 
when he was told he was not at home, in- 
quired where he was likely to be found, 
and Edward named his club-house in Pall 
Mall. This person was on foot ; he did 
not come into the house ; and as Edward, 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 305 

therefore, did not see liis face distinctly, 
he could not tell who he was, and he gave 
no name. Shall I go to the club my- 
self," asked the butler, " and find out 
how it all is ? for there must, I think, be 
some mistake." 

'* Yes, yes, do," rephed Lucy, her alarm 
every minute increasing. 

After seeing the carriage set off with 
Lambert, she again returned to the dark, 
dismal drawing-room, listening to every 
noise, until her sense of hearing became so 
strained she scarcely knew the reahty of 
any sound, from the beating of the nerves 
of her head. Again nearly another hour 
elapsed before the return of Lambert. He 
could give no further intelligence whatever. 
It was stiU the same story, that Mr. Lush- 
ington had left the Athenaeum between 
nine and ten o'clock, with another gentle- 
man, in a hackney-coach, and that the 
porter, not having heard the orders given 
to the driver, could not teU where they 
went to. 

VOL. II. X 



806 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

Lucy turned so faint slie was obliged 
to catcli hold of Lambert's arm for sup- 
port. He placed her in one of the hall 
chairs. " Don't alarm yourself, Miss 
Lushington, I am sm-e there can be no 
cause. But suppose I go to Mr. Wat- 
son's, at Westminster ; I dare say he will 
know something about all this. Indeed, 
probably I shall find my master there ; 
for, now I think of it, he wanted particu- 
larly to have seen Mr. Watson this even- 
ing ; and as he was prevented coming 
here at dinner-time, I have no doubt my 
master is gone to him. This really ex- 
plains it all at once," said Lambert (appa- 
rently quite reheved by this idea). "I 
dare say it is only some little matter of 
business which has to be settled to-night, 
and I have no doubt my master wiU be 
home soon. And after all it is not so 
very late," said Lambert, taking out his 
watch. (To liis surprise he found it to be 
nearly tliree in the morning, but that he 
did not tell Lucy.) '' Let me fetch Mrs. 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 307 

Eeid," continued Lambert, " she will lielp 
you up stairs, ma'am, and you shall hear 
directly I come back. But I dare say my 
master will be home first." 

To a degree reassured by Lambert's 
suggestions and kind encouraging words, 
Lucy went up to her own room, but not to 
bed; and dismissing Eeid, she again sat 
down to listen to every sound in the house 
and street. Before very long she heard 
the door-bell; she rushed down stairs 
with the same nervous hope she was at 
last going to behold her father, to hear 
his well-known step and voice. But 
again she was disappointed ; again there 
was a parleying in the hall between some 
one and the footman (for Lambert had 
not yet returned), and unable to endure 
the suspense, she hurried down the re- 
maining flight of steps, and, by the 
ghmmering light of the candle in the 
footman's hand, saw a person muffled up 
in a great coat and comforter speaking to 
him. 



308 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

" Not yet gone to bed ?" said a voice 
she immediately recognized to be Ned 
Watson's ; " then, perhaps, I had better 
speak to her." 

Lucy rushed up to him, and seizing his 
arm — " For God's sake, tell me what is 
the matter ? What has happened ? for I 
am sure something has ! In pity tell me 
— my father !" 

Lucy could say no more ; she sank 
down in one of the hall chairs. Poor Ned 
was nearly as much agitated as she was, 
but he did his best to command himself. 

'' Don't be alarmed. Miss Lushington," 
said he. "It is nothing ; it wiU soon be 
all right, I have no doubt. It is only 
something that has gone wrong at the — 
the bank ; but it will soon be cleared up 
— settled, I mean ; I am sure it will. 
My father will soon put it aU to rights ; 
and he has sent me here to tell you so, 
and bid you not to be any way alarmed. 
Mr. Lushington wiU not probably be 
home to-night, but you may be sure my 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 309 

father will take good care of him ; so 
don't be frightened. You really need not, 
I hope ; and I will come to-morrow morn- 
ing and tell you all about it. Depend 
upon it all will be right." 

Poor [N^ed's looks gave the lie to his 
words, while thus endeavouring to speak 
comfort to Lucy ; for he trembled nearly 
as much as she did, and his usually 
ruddy, jocund face bore evident marks of 
nervous agitation. 

" Can't I go to him ?" at length 
stammered out Lucy. '' Where is he ? do, 
pray, take me to him?" 

" Oh no, my dear Miss Lucy, that is 
impossible ; why, it is three o'clock. I 
hope your father is fast asleep by this 
time ; you would only disturb him." 

" But where is he ?" reiterated Lucy — 
" At yom- father's ?" 

Ned evidently evaded her question. 

" Surely, you may depend upon my 
father taking all care of your's ?" said Ned, 
endeavouring to smile ; but the smile 



310 THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 

would not be forced, and, instead, tears 
started into his eyes. " I promise you I 
will come early to-morrow morning, and 
tell you all about, it," repeated Ned ; "so 
will you now go to bed. Miss Lucy ; for 
I see you have made yourself quite ill 
with fretting." 

Lucy held out her hand to Ned. She 
could not speak. 

" I will be sure to be here to-morrow 
morning early," again said Ned ; "so, 
good-night, pray go to bed ;" and he left 
the house. 

Lucy stood for a minute or two in the 
hall, as if irresolute what to do, and then 
slowly went up stairs to her own room, 
leaving strict orders with the footman, 
that if any one came from Mr Watson, at 
whatever hour it might be, she was to be 
informed. Lucy laid herself down on her 
bed, in the hope of quieting her tlirobbing 
nerves ; but sleep she could not. For the 
few short moments of forgetfulness which 
at times came over her, broken imme- 



THE OLD GREY CHURCH. 311 

diatelj by fearful nerrous starts, could not 
certainly be called by the blessed name of 
sleep ! All sorts of horrible imaginations 
succeeded each other to her mind. But, 
fearful as they were, they did not approach 
to the awful truth I — A truth wliich 
would but too soon bui'st upon her, in all 
its fiightful reality. 



END OF VOL. II, 



LONDON : 

rRIN-TED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET 
AND CILi.RIKG CROSS. 



/> 



UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS-URBANA 




3 0112 041768158